The Water (Hydrologic) Cycle details
The water cycle depicts water moving through the atmosphere and on and under the surface of the earth. Another term for the water cycle is hydrologic cycle. Water moves
- downward as precipitation, into the soil and through the unsaturated zone as infiltration, and through the saturated zone to shallow and deep aquifers as recharge;
- laterally on the surface as surface runoff to lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers and underground as groundwater flow;
- upward as evapotranspiration from lakes, wetlands, streams, and rivers, plants, soil, and groundwater, and as groundwater discharge to surface waters; and
- laterally aloft as atmospheric moisture, where condensation forms clouds.
Arrows depict movements in the water (hydrologic) cycle.
The Water Budget for Illinois details
This depiction shows water moving through the water cycle in Illinois and is based on 30-year (1971-2000) averages calculated by Illinois State Water Survey scientists. Values are in billions of gallons of water per day (BGD) and include: atmospheric moisture passing overhead (2000 BGD), precipitation (104 BGD), evapotranspiration (73 BGD), surface water flow (31 BGD), and groundwater recharge (11.6 BGD, of which 11.5 BGD is returned as groundwater discharge to surface streams). Additional surface water flows into Illinois from rivers in Indiana and Wisconsin, and water is imported into Illinois through the diversion from Lake Michigan at Chicago. Much of the water in the Mississippi, Ohio, and Wabash Rivers originates upstream of Illinois.
- DAS @ U of I - The Hydrologic Cycle
- Environmental Literacy Council - Water Cycle
- IEPA - Make a Water Cycle Wheel
- Lerner.org - The Water Cycle
- NASA's Observatorium - Hydrologic Cycle
- SMART Program (IIT) - The Water Cycle
- The Water Cycle and Water Budgets in Illinois: A Framework for Drought and Water-Supply Planning
- USGS - Water Science for Schools
- Utah Education Network - Water Cycle Hotlist
- Windows to the Universe - The Water Cycle
- The Hydrologic Cycle
- Interactive Hydrologic Cycle
Except where indicated, all photos and graphics have been taken/produced by Water Survey staff.