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Stages of Water Cycle
   
Four Seasons in One Day by aussiegall on Flickr

EVAPORATION

Have you ever noticed when your mom or dad heats a pot of water over the stove, it steams? This is evaporation, the first step of the water cycle. The sun heats water from any water source, oceans, ponds, rivers, lakes, streams, even puddles!

This creates steam, which rises up to form clouds. More steam rises up to join the clouds until the next step of the water cycle.

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Sprinkles by orangeacid on Flickr

TRANSPIRATION

The release of water vapor from plants and soil into the air. Water vapor is a gas that cannot be seen. It is why sometimes you see dead brown plants in your yard.
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Dreary Day by Eric M Martin on Flickr

CONDENSATION

Have you ever noticed when you fill a glass with cold water, beads of water form on the outside? This is condensation, when water sticks together to form droplets.

In the clouds, the water vapor is sticking together to form droplets. Soon, the atmosphere wont be able to hold them anymore.

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Freesia in the Rain by John-Morgan on Flickr

PRECIPITATION

When something gets too heavy for the thing that holds it, it falls. This is what happens next. The droplets fall in precipitation, or rain. Snow, hail, and sleet are other forms of precipitation.

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Canyonlands National Park by Wolfgang Staudt on Flickr

RUNOFF

When it rains, the excess water goes SOMEWHERE. So it runs downhill until it flows into a water sources. Sometimes it carves canyons in the rock, like this one over to the left.

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Lake El Cajon by peasap on Flickr

WATER STORAGE        

Water Storage is any water source, oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams. This is where Evaporation occurs. Here is the end AND the beginning of the water cycle. We could not live without the water cycle, because it gives us fresh water. However, because of pollution, our water supply is being poisoned, acid rain burning forests and animals, killing water life, and sometimes causing mutations. We can only hope that humankind will come up with a way to save our earth and water supply.

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