Illinois Water Cycle



Resource Type:

Online Resource

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Parent Program(s):

  • Illinois State Water Survey





Resource provided by the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) (a Division of the Prairie Research Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I)). 

The ISWS water cycle diagram 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. 

Visit the Illinois Water Cycle webpage for full diagram detail.