THE WATER-CYCLE

You have seen how the water evaporates from the water bodies and subsequent condensation of this water vapour leads to rain. But we don’t see the seas and oceans drying up. So, how is the water returning to these water bodies? The whole process in which water evaporates and falls on the land as rain and later flows back into the sea via rivers is known as the water-cycle. This cycle is not as straight-forward and simple as this
statement seems to imply. All of the water that falls on the land does not immediately flow back into the sea. Some of it seeps into the soil and becomes part of the underground reservoir of fresh-water. Some of this underground water finds its way to the surface through springs. Or we bring it to the surface for our use through wells or tube wells. Water is also used by terrestrial animals and plants for various life-processes.

Let us look at another aspect of what happens to water during the water-cycle. As you know, water is capable of dissolving a large number of substances. As water flows through or over rocks containing soluble minerals, some of them get dissolved in the water. Thus rivers carry many nutrients from the land to the sea, and these are used by the marine organisms.

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