Around 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. This water evaporates and gathers (condenses) into clouds. The clouds result in precipitation, and this water falls back to the earth’s surface, prepared to begin the cycle once more.
For what reason do I give it a second thought? The water cycle is crucial not exclusively to climate yet to live on earth. Rain is essential for the survival of plants and people. Condensation is fundamental for cloud development. Evaporation is essential to cool and keeping a decent balance of water vapor in the air.
“Water Cycle is a continuous and constant movement of water on, above and below the surface of the earth.” Since water means life, it is best to know how water moves to produce water for human consumption and its essence.
The water cycle circulates us through three different stages from solids of soil or grounds of the earth, through liquid forms of rivers, lakes, and ocean or open seas to gaseous forms or vapors of air and clouds. In this way, water is formed in a cycle that gives life to humans by giving out fresh water to drink.
Water Cycle Affects Us
Through its cycle, everything on earth is being cared for because of waterworks around the world. It gives importance to new beginnings in life between plants and animals. Living things need water to survive, and the water cycle does the job. It distributes or gives water to plants and animals, especially humans, making it the most vital process in sustaining life itself through three different evaporation, condensation, and precipitation methods.
The water cycle is essential in giving fresh water to all living things. Through evaporation, water goes up from bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, and oceans and is condensed to form clouds or vapor. After which, it will then go back to the ground in the form of rain that gives life to plants and animals that humans will then consume.
The water cycle is also responsible for the climate too! It acts as a force that drives climate and the changes that follow. Temperature is regulated through the process, especially during the evaporation stage.
It is also called the hydrologic cycle, wherein the water in this cycle never leaves the earth's atmosphere. It just goes round in a circle for this changing life and to support life as it is. It is called the hydrologic cycle because of its continuous repetition or a never-ending cycle of water from evaporation and condensation to precipitation.
Water comprises almost 78% of the earth and around 97% of the ocean, which is salty and is not suitable for human consumption. That’s why the water cycle is there to help provide fresh water to provide life.
Stages of Water Cycle
Water is re-circulated through these three processes or stages, namely evaporation, condensation, and precipitation, that picture out the whole process of the water cycle itself.
Factors That Affect Evaporation
- Vaporization increases with an increase in the surface region. When the surface area is increased, then the amount of liquid exposed to air is larger.
- It increases with an increase in temperature. The water molecules move swiftly when the water is heated. This causes the molecules to escape faster. A good example is that boiling water evaporates faster than fresh tap water.
- Vaporization increases with the decline in humidity. Humidity means the amount of vapor that exists in the air. The air around can only hold a certain amount of vapor at a particular time and temperature.
- It increases with an increase in wind speed. Particles of vapor leave when the speed of the wind increases. This results in a decrease in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. For instance, we use hand dryers to dry our hands.
Factors That Affect Condensation
- The water vapor content of the air. This is caused by regular living activities such as washing, cooking, bathing, etc., and can be controlled by extractor fans, cowlings, and ventilation at suitable places.
- Within room temperature. This can be controlled in some way by replacing single glazing with energy-efficient double or triple glazing, maintaining a higher surface temperature of the glass on the room side. This will help to retain the room’s air temperature, which, along with adequate ventilation, will enable the space to hold more water vapor without condensing.
- Outside temperature. This can’t be controlled, but its effect on the inside room temperature can be lessened by installing energy-efficient double or triple glazing.
- Internal and external temperature variation. This can’t be controlled as the main variant is the outside temperature. But, this variation may also be affected by building direction, localized atmospheric conditions, shelter from nearby trees or buildings, air currents, wind speeds, and nearby vegetation.
Factors That Affect Precipitation
- Latitude. It rains more in the areas near the equator than in the temperate zones and polar regions. The temperature is higher near the Equator, so there is more evaporation.
- Altitude. It rains more in high areas than in low areas.
- Level of humidity. It rains more on the coast than inland. Seas are the source of humidity.
The water cycle moves other cycles.
Water and the Environment
Water can get polluted through human activities and mishaps like agricultural run-off, sewage, industrial waste, and oil spills. Since water is essential for a system, whatever people put into the ground or sky through manufacturing can pollute water. As per the Environmental Protection Agency, the normal U.S. household uses around 50 gallons of water a day for each individual. In medieval eras, the estimated water use per individual was 5 gallons for each day.
Water in Our Lives
The water cycle, as mentioned earlier, is responsible for giving out fresh and usable water for human consumption. As it undergoes those series of processes or stages, salty water is now turned into fresh water and purified, getting rid of those impurities. In short, the water cycle helps in cleaning water for human use, not only for humans alone but for all living things, plants, and animals as a whole.
It is a fact that out of those portions of earth’s water holdings, only less than 1% is freshwater that is safe to drink. So since it is the most vital need in human life, we need not only leave it alone to nature or the water cycle itself but rather let us all unite and help Mother Nature produce more freshwater for human use by preserving the ecosystem and the earth itself. If we continuously destroy our bodies of water around us with water pollution, maybe there will come a time when the water cycle could never eradicate those harmful elements that will be hazardous to human life already. Let's all save the earth. Preserve and conserve water.