The Hydrosphere

The natural and urban water cycles

The natural water cycle is a continuing process of evaporation, condensation, precipitation and groundwater (Figure 1).




Figure 1: The Natural Water  Cycle

(Source: Auckland Council


The natural water cycle still occurs in urban areas (e.g. cities and towns) however there are some changes which are the result of increased population, and therefore increased building and development. The urban water cycle (Figure 2) shows the consequences of increased development. More development and more concrete means less infiltration of rainwater into the soil, and more run off.




Figure 2: The Urban Water Cycle

(Source: Auckland Council




Stage 4 Science
Topic:4.9.5- The Hydrosphere
Outcomes: Students learn about the hydrosphere/ water cycle