The Water Cycle and Types of Water

Andrew JohnsonNatural Resources, Online Courses Comments

Types of water - the water cycle

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The water cycle consists of three stages, beginning with precipitation. Precipitation is described as any water that falls from the sky in the form of rain, sleet, snow or hail. The next stage of the cycle is evaporation – this is where water leaves the earth and rises as vapor. Factors that cause evaporation in lakes, streams and the oceans include wind, sun, and solar energy. The next stage involved in the water cycle is condensation. This is where vapour is converted back into a liquid. This occurs when wet air moves further into the atmosphere, where it is cooler; and it turns into water, which is where it turns back into precipitation.

Water is universal, but did you know that there are many types of water?

One type of water is classified as surface run-off which exists in the form of rivers and streams. Surface water is usually extracted for industrial use because it is the most readily available type of water. That being said, there can be several industrial impacts to surface water including deforestation and paving activities. Deforestation can have a major effect on surface water because the removal of trees will result in more water making it to the ground and consequently leaving the ground at a faster rate. Paving activities can also have a huge impact on surface water run-off patterns.

A 2nd type of water is classified as sub-surface flow. This can be found in the form of springs or aquifers. Industrial impacts that effect sub-surface flow include activities associated with mining, drilling and extraction.

Transpiration is a 3rd type of water, which is the water vapour that is found and released from plants. In terms of impact, Industry’s effect on transportation is most typically found with the removal of vegetation.

Want to learn more about the exciting world of hydrology and how to ensure water sustainability? Then check out the Introduction to Fish & Fish Habitat course in the UNBC Continuing Studies’ Environmental Monitoring Certificate.