The Water Cycle

Water moves continuously through our environment in a cycle. The rain or snow that falls from the sky flows overland to a river, creek or lake or seeps into the ground or into wetlands and lakes where it is stored. Plants absorb this water and animals drink it. Water evaporates from the surface of lakes or is released by plants. The moisture is carried by air. It rises, condenses to form clouds and then is released to fall to earth once again.

This flow of water through the landscape of the river’s drainage area, or watershed, supplies the needs of all life and links all natural features and all communities of the watershed together. Within this watershed area, or ecosystem, everything is connected to everything else, and people are as much a part of this system as are the trees, animals and fish.