This is how your water gets to you: water cycle explained

How does the water cycle connect oceans, atmosphere and landscapes and what role does it play in the supply of our drinking water?

We follow the stages from dilution to life-giving precipitation and highlight the now worrying influence of humans on our water quality and what you can do to always enjoy clean water.

Key facts at a glance

  • The water cycle is a continuous process triggered by solar energy that circulates water through evaporation, condensation and precipitation.

  • Humans significantly influence the water cycle through their activities such as excessive water use, water pollution from agriculture, industry and pharmaceutical residues, which threatens the availability and quality of water.

  • Water is an indispensable and unique resource that occurs on Earth in liquid, gaseous and purulent forms and is essential for all life forms and plants, as well as for regulating climate and supporting ecosystems.

The eternal cycle: water cycle in nature

The water cycle is a constant journey that takes water from the depths of the oceans to the highest clouds and back to the earth again. It is a process powered by the sun's energy that connects all parts of the planet. This cycle is continuously active.

In this process, water passes through various stages, each making its own contribution to strengthening life on earth. From evaporation from the oceans and land, to formation in clouds in the atmosphere, to precipitation and the return of water to the oceans and land, the water cycle is a perfect example of the harmonious interaction between the different parts of our planet Planets.


The journey of water begins with evaporation. This process, in which liquid water turns into gaseous water vapor, is a fundamental step in the water cycle. On the Earth's surface and in plants, water absorbs heat from the sun until a few water molecules have enough energy to change to the gaseous state. This process is crucial for the availability of fresh water on Earth.

The amount of water evaporated depends on several factors, including:

  • the air temperature

  • humidity

  • the intensity of solar radiation

  • the wind speed

Through evaporation, water enters the atmosphere, where it condenses into clouds and ultimately returns to Earth as precipitation at another location thousands of kilometers away from the source.

Condensation and cloud formation

After the water has risen into the atmosphere, the next phase of the water cycle begins: condensation.

As water vapor cools in the cooler atmosphere, it turns into tiny water droplets that collect around dust particles and other aerosols in the air, forming clouds.

Cloud formation is a fascinating process that is influenced by numerous factors. These include, for example, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, temperature and wind conditions. Once enough water droplets have accumulated in a cloud, they become too heavy to float in the air and fall back to Earth as precipitation.

Precipitation and infiltration

Precipitation is probably the best-known phase of the water cycle. It can come in the form of rain, snow or hail and is an important source of fresh water on Earth. As soon as the precipitation reaches the ground, it can penetrate into the soil and is either absorbed into the groundwater or used by the plants on the surface and evaporated again.

In some cases, the water penetrates deep into the ground and forms new groundwater or enriches with minerals and forms mineral water. The depth to which water can seep into the ground depends on the nature of the soil. However, if the ground becomes saturated and cannot absorb more water, flooding or flooding can result.

The Journey of Water: From Sky to Sea

After water completes its journey from heaven to earth, a new cycle begins. The water flows through:

  • rivers and lakes

  • seeps away as groundwater

  • Comes back to the surface as a source

  • flows into oceans and seas before rising again into the sky via rarefaction.

This journey is not only a natural circulation of water, but also an important basis for life on Earth. Each stop on this journey has its own significance and function in the water cycle, from providing drinking water and supporting ecosystems to regulating the climate.

rivers and lakes

Rivers and lakes are important parts of the water cycle. They perform the following functions:

  • They collect precipitation from their catchment area

  • They transport the water further towards the sea

  • They play a crucial role in global water distribution

  • They serve as natural water storage

Rivers form when groundwater rises due to rainwater and finds its way to the surface. Lakes can be formed by filling depressions with rainwater or by damming rivers through natural or artificial barriers. But regardless of their origin, rivers and lakes are invaluable for maintaining the water cycle and life on earth.

Groundwater and springs

Another important component of the water cycle is groundwater. It occurs when water seeps into the ground and collects in underground cavities. This water can be stored for long periods of time and is an important source of drinking water.

Springs are places where groundwater comes back to the surface. They are often found in areas with high water tables and play an important role in providing fresh water in many parts of the world. Both groundwater and springs are essential for maintaining the water cycle and providing water to plants, animals and people.

Oceans and seas

Oceans and seas are the largest water reservoirs on earth and play a crucial role in the global water cycle. They are the end point of water's journey on the earth's surface and at the same time the starting point for the next round of rarefaction and cloud formation.

Hundreds of thousands of cubic kilometers of water evaporate from the oceans and seas every year, making it the largest source of water vapor in the atmosphere. But the water doesn't stay in the oceans and seas for long. As the sun heats up, it evaporates and enters the atmosphere, where it condenses into clouds and ultimately returns to the earth as precipitation.

Human influence on the water cycle

While the water cycle is a natural process, humans also have a significant influence on it. Through water use, water pollution and climate change, we are changing the quantity and quality of the water available and thus also influencing the water cycle.

These human activities have significant impacts on natural water resources and ecosystems. But by improving our water use and management, reducing water pollution and taking action on climate change, we can help protect the water cycle and sustain life on Earth.

Water use and management

Water is an indispensable resource for humans. It is used for a variety of purposes, from drinking water supply to agriculture and industry. However, this water use also has an impact on the water cycle.

The extraction of water from rivers, lakes and groundwater for human purposes can disrupt the natural water cycle and lead to water shortages, especially in water bodies where water is already scarce. In addition, inadequate treatment of wastewater can result in polluted water being released into the environment and affecting water quality.

Water pollution

Water pollution is another serious problem that disrupts the water cycle. They arise when pollutants enter waterways, either through direct discharge or through contaminants that dissolve in the water.

The effects of water pollution on the Water cycle  can be serious. They can degrade water quality, destroy aquatic plant habitats and endanger human health. Therefore, it is important to take steps to reduce water pollution and ensure our water remains clean and safe.

Interesting facts about water

Water is not only a vital resource, but also a fascinating substance with unique properties. It is the only natural material that occurs on Earth in all three physical states: liquid water, gaseous water vapor and solid ice. Each of these states is an important part of the water cycle.

In addition, water has special physical and chemical properties that make it an indispensable component of all life forms.

It has a high specific heat capacity, meaning it can store a lot of thermal energy, and it is an excellent solvent, capable of dissolving a wide range of substances.

Water as a basis for life

Water is the lifeblood of our planet. It is essential for all living beings and plays a central role in ecosystems, agriculture and cities. Without water nothing would be possible, no life.

In the bodies of animals and humans, water fulfills vital functions, such as regulating fluid balance, transporting nutrients to cells and cooling the body.

In agriculture, water is essential for plant growth and food production, while in human settlements, water availability influences development and survival.

Challenges for home and office

The water cycle shows how efficiently the water system works in the world. How worth protecting the whole thing is and above all: clean water cannot be taken for granted.

At many points in the cycle there is a risk of water becoming contaminated because it comes into contact with pollutants, drug residues and deposits.

In Germany, filtering out and cleaning this is strictly regulated by the Drinking Water Ordinance and is the responsibility of the local water supply companies.

Although the limit values ​​for pollutants in drinking water are officially adhered to, our water flows through kilometers of pipes to the house connection and is then transported to our apartments and houses through the no less old pipes.

There are more and more pollutants in the air, where water molecules accumulate and seep into our soil as polluted rain. This water is becoming an increasing challenge for our water supply company.

Our mission: water filters for your water enjoyment

We have little influence on what happens in front of our own tap. With our Coway water filters you actively ensure that you can enjoy the best possible water at home or in the office without any worries.

You no longer have to worry about water bottles or the like because your water is always fresh and filtered.

Selecting our lineup filter is incredibly easy. Replacing the filter is also quick and easy.

We're so sure you'll love it that we're giving you one  30-day money-back guarantee offer. Our mission: The BEST POSSIBLE water for your carefree drinking pleasure!

Are there any questions left? Then please contact us. We are happy to help you!