There is no such thing as ‘new’ water. The rain which falls today is the same rain that fell on prehistoric man, the dinosaurs and the earliest forms of life on earth.
Nature is engaged in a never-ending process of recycling our planet’s water, moving it between the sky, the land, the seas, and back to the sky. Rainfall lands on the earth, heat evaporates the water and turns it to vapour, the vapour rises and cools and forms into clouds, and once again the rain falls.
This process – the Water Cycle – consists of five elements. These are:
Evaporation: The sun heats up water in rivers, lakes, seas or the ocean, which then evaporates and turns into vapour which rises through the air. At every stage of the water cycle, some water evaporates to begin the cycle again
Transpiration: The process by which plants lose water from their leaves, putting more water vapour into the air.
Condensation: As the water vapour rises it cools and condenses, changing back into liquid which forms clouds.
Precipitation: When lots of water has condensed, the clouds become heavy and the water falls back to earth as rain, hail, sleet or snow.
Collection: Rain falls into rivers, lakes and oceans or it falls on the land where it either soaks into the ground to fill underground aquifers, or runs into lakes or rivers – and the water cycle starts all over again.