The Water Cycle
Water on earth is used over and over in a continuous cycle. This is called THE WATER CYCLE and it is the continuous movement of water from ocean to air and land then back to the ocean in a cyclic pattern. In the water cycle, the sun heats the Earth's surface water, causing that water to evaporate into gas. This water vapor then rises into the earth's atmosphere where it cools and condenses into liquid droplets. These droplets combine and grow until they become too heavy and fall to the earth as precipitation (rain or snow).
When rain falls and snow melts, it collects in streams and rivers forming many watersheds in the Puget Sound region. Cedar River is a special protected watershed in the Cascade Mountains that provides much of the water we use. Some of the water seeps into the ground and collects in spaces known as aquifers. Lakes also act as reservoirs that temporarily store this precious resource. Water can move from these places via streams and rivers where it returns to the ocean, is used by people, plants and animals, or is evaporated directly back into the atmosphere.
*This information is courtesy of Live from Earth and Mars.