The Water Cycle
Condensation in the atmosphere is visible as clouds.

The Water Cycle

Understanding the water cycle is one part of KS2 Science. This quiz looks at the different processes in the water cycle such as evaporation, condensation, precipitation and surface runoff.

Only 3% of the Earth's water is fresh, and most of that is in the form of ice! Luckily, the tiny percentage of water suitable for drinking and keeping plants and animals alive is continuously recycled in a series of processes known as the water cycle. Through evaporation, water in the sea rises as vapour into the sky. Condensation then causes droplets to form and these become clouds. Rain (precipitation) falls from the clouds and onto the ground. Here the water runs downhill until it reaches a river. It then flows along the river and into the sea, where the whole process starts again.

What is another name for precipitation? Where does most evaporation of water occur? Check your scientific understanding by trying this Water Cycle quiz.

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  1. Which of these is condensation in the atmosphere?
    That's why some clouds bring rain - the water vapour condenses and then falls to earth
  2. Plants draw water out of the ground and release water vapour into the atmosphere. What is this process known as?
    Plants release water vapour through tiny pores (holes) in their leaves - these pores are called 'stomata'
  3. What happens to water vapour when it cools?
    You can see water condensation after you've had a shower - the water vapour in the air condenses as it cools down, leaving water droplets on the walls, windows and bathroom mirror
  4. Water on the surface of roads and pavements disappears over time. What has happened to the water?
    Surface water evaporates and returns to the atmosphere as water vapour
  5. What do we call water that is in the form of a gas?
    Another name for water vapour is steam
  6. Some of the water from rain, hail, sleet or snow collects in streams, rivers, lakes and the sea. Where does most of the rest of the water go?
    Groundwater is stored in soil and in underground layers of sand and permeable stone known as aquifers
  7. What do we call water that is in a solid state?
    Water freezes and becomes a solid (ice) at 0o Celsius
  8. When a kettle is boiling, it produces visible steam. What does this steam contain?
    Steam is invisible water vapour (gas). When we see steam from a kettle or shower, the steam also contains tiny water droplets (liquid), making it visible
  9. What do we call fresh water falling from the atmosphere to the Earth's surface?
    Fresh water can fall as rain, hail, sleet or snow
  10. What stage of the water cycle directly follows water's condensation in the atmosphere?
    Precipitation follows condensation - and the whole water cycle begins again!

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