Water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises and cools, condenses into rain or snow, and falls again to the surface. The water falling on land collects in rivers and lakes, soil, and porous layers of rock, and much of it flows back into the oceans. The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere is a significant aspect of the weather patterns on Earth.
Learning Goal 8
Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for some organisms and industrial processes. Water in rivers, lakes, and underground can be depleted or polluted, making it unavailable or unsuitable for life.