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  1. 11/7/2014 KIDS CORNER: THE WATER CYCLE
  2. Run and get a glass of water and put it on the table next to you.  Take a good long look at the water.  Now -- can you guess how old it is?  The water in your glass may have fallen from the sky as rain just last week, but the water itself has been around pretty much as long as the earth has!

     

    When the first fish crawled out of the ocean onto the land, your glass of water was part of that ocean.  When the Brachiosaurus walked through lakes feeding on plants or drinking at water ponds, your glass of water was part of those lakes and ponds.  When kings and princesses, knights and squires took a drink from their wells, your glass of water was part of those wells.

     

    And you thought your parents were OLD

     

    The earth has a limited amount of water.  That water keeps going around and around and around and around and (well, you get the idea) in what we call the "Water Cycle".

     

    This cycle is made up of a few main parts:

    1. evaporation (and transpiration)
    2. condensation
    3. precipitation
    4. collection

     

     

     

    Evaporation:

     

    Evaporation is when the sun heats up water in rivers or lakes or the ocean and turns it into vapor or steam. The water vapor or steam leaves the river, lake or ocean and goes into the air.

     

     

     

    Transpiration

     

    Do plants sweat? Well, sort of.... People perspire (sweat) and plants transpire.  Transpiration is the process by which plants lose water out of their leaves.  Transpiration gives evaporation a bit of a hand in getting the water vapor back up into the air.

     

     

     

    Condensation:

     

    Water vapor in the air gets cold and changes back into liquid, forming clouds. This is called condensation.  You can see the same sort of thing at home... Pour a glass of cold water on a hot day and watch what happens. Water forms on the outside of the glass. That water didn't somehow leak through the glass! It actually came from the air. Water vapor in the warm air, turns back into liquid when it touches the cold glass.

     

    Precipitation occurs when so much water has condensed that the air cannot hold it anymore. The clouds get heavy and water falls back to the earth in the form of rain, hail, sleet or snow.

     

     

     

    Collection:

     

    When water falls back to earth as precipitation, it may fall back in the oceans, lakes or rivers or it may end up on land or in the mountains you see every day. When it ends up on land, it will either soak into the ground and become part of the “ground water” that plants and animals use to drink or it may run over the soil and collect in the oceans, lakes or rivers and the water cycle starts all over again.

     

     

     

    Where does the water in your house come from?

     

    The water that comes out of your faucets at home comes from Colorado rivers and streams which are fed by snow in the mountains melting.  This melted snow (now in the form of water) then travels through streams, ditches, reservoirs, tunnels and pipes to a treatment plant which makes the water safe to drink.  Once the water is clean and safe, the water travels through even more pipes and is delivered to your home.