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# Inquiry Lesson - Water Cycle

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## Eric Burrell

on 11 October 2012

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#### Transcript of Inquiry Lesson - Water Cycle

Did you know? 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 Brontosaurus walked through lakes feeding on plants, your glass of water was part of those lakes. When kings and princesses, knights and squires took a drink from their wells, your glass of water was part of those wells. The earth has a limited amount of water. That water keeps going around and around and around and around and in what we call the "Water Cycle". This cycle is made up of a few main parts:
•evaporation
•condensation
•precipitation
•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. 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:
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. When it ends up on land, it will either soak into the earth 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 where the cycle starts all over again. That's the "Water Cycle" Things to think about? How do humans affect the "Water Cycle"? Does the water cycle always move in a circle? What can we do to make a difference? How would it make a difference? Your Task:
You will write a 1/2 page “Letter to the Editor” of a local newspaper describing the importance of the
water cycle, and the efforts that we can all make to improve the environment. The earth's water supply stays the same but humans can alter the cycle. As population increases, and living standards rise this can increase the demand for water. Humans impact the water cycle by polluting the water in rivers, streams, reservoirs etc. We are polluting it with harmful chemicals and disgusting substances. Technically we as humans cannot alter the water cycle, however, we can mess it up by dumping waste into the ocean. When we talk about the water cycle moving water vapor in and out of the atmosphere, there are no human activities that can affect that. Water vapor will still evaporate into the atmosphere whether the ground water is dirty or clean. These reasons can create an imbalance and change the quality and quantity of the water.
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