NCWR

About NCWR

The water cycle in a bowl!

In a nutshell

In this activity we make a model simulating the water cycle and we find out how we impact it through our activities.

Our objectives

In this activity you will:

  • Set up a model of the water cycle.
  • Observe the paths of water within the water cycle.
  • Find out about the impact that our activities have on the water cycle.

Things to use

A large and a small glass bowl, transparent membrane (plastic), one small stone, hot water, salt, food coloring

Play & learn

Which one can be found in the three states of matter on Earth?


How many states of matter of water do you see in this picture? 


Water-readings

The paths within the water cycle

Water moves endlessly within the hydrological or water cycle on our planet. It all starts with the sun: Water because of the sun’s radiation, from the sea, lakes, rivers, but also from the soil and the plants. Actually evaporation from the plants’ leaves is called . As the water vapor rises into the atmosphere, it cools and is becoming condensed (condensation), so it  liquefies and returns to the ground as rain, snow, or hail. These forms are the various types of . Then, water flows on the surface   forming streams and torrents or joining the rivers, ending in lakes or the sea. Part of precipitation is adsorbed from the soil and moves vertically between the rocks () joining the groundwater. Groundwater follows its own paths below the earth’s surface, forming . It may spill over the surface from springs or it may end up to the sea. When water doesn’t percolate, it’s absorbed by the plants’ roots (this way, acts also as the main medium through which the nutrients are transferred to the plants).

The water cycle keeps going on without stopping, and like any another circle, has no beginning and no end.

Stop and wonder

Discuss in class about the following:


  1. Have you ever noticed while swimming in the sea, a cool current in your feet? How can you explain this?
  2. Water is considered as the “universal solvent”. Why?
  3. Scientists say that the hydrological cycle is the natural water recycling system on Earth. Why do you think they say so?
  4. Is it possible that the water you just drank was once drank by a dinosaur?

Play & learn

Choose the right answer:

1. Within the water cycle, water can be found as:


2. Through the water cycle the total amount of water on Earth:


3. Based on what you read about the water cycle, how is the morning dew observed on plants’ leaves or car windows created?


4. Which phenomenon is taking place when the clothes are drying?


Activity

Water cycle in a model!

  1. Prepare some hot water  (about a glass) using a boiler.
  2. Place the small bowl in the middle of the large glass bowl.
  3. Pour the hot water and the salt into the large bowl, making sure that no water gets into the smaller one.
  4. Cover the large bowl with the membrane, making sure that it is firmly in place and that it seals the top completely (you may use a rubber band).
  5. Place one small stone at the centre of the membrane. Your model is ready!
  6. Wait for about 5 minutes. What do you observe?
  7. Take off the membrane and taste the water in the small bowl. Is it salty? Why?
    Make sure that all the equipment you use are clean!
  8. Fill in the worksheet.
  9. Repeat steps 1-7 adding this time some drops of food coloring in the water. What do you observe?  What is the colour of the water droplets on the membrane and why?

Fill in the worksheet again.

Stop and wonder

The impact of our activities to the water cycle

Since the antiquity people strive to ensure water for irrigation, crafting, industries and cities. To this end, the construction of canals and dams, drainage of marshes and wetlands, drill deep into the ground, divert rivers, and transport water to large cities, often from very far away. On the other hand, every time we use water – in the houses, industry, agriculture, etc. – we pollute it, we produce wastewaters.

Discussion Points


Think of  an activity within your everyday life.

  • Does your personal behavior (as a consumer) have an impact on the water cycle?
  • Is there any habit/behavior that you can change in order to reduce your water consumption?

Play & learn

Discuss in class about how we are affecting the water cycle. Match the human activities in column A with their impacts in column B (drag and drop)

A: Human activities

B: Impact

  • 1 Emissions from factories 1
  • 2 Agricultural wastewater drainage containing fertilizers and pesticides 2
  • 3 Drilling to big depth and overabstraction of groundwater 3
  • 4 Deforestation and sealing of land (for construction of streets, pavements, buildings, etc) 4
  • 5 Big dams 5
  • 1 Acid rain
  • 2 Pollution; Degradation of the water quality
  • 3 Groundwater salting
  • 4 Big run-offs to the sea / Floods
  • 5 Downstream ecosystems disruption

Water meter

How important do you think the water cycle is for...
not at all a little so and so very very much
the ecosystems, the biodiversity and the quality of the environment?

the climate balance of the Earth?

the agricultural production and the production of goods?

the good health and welfare of human societies?

Water meter

I liked this activity

Way forward

Swimming around the internet

Find here a  video clip  of the water cycle!

Dive in…

Water resources if you want to go out and “record” the water in your place.

Water in the city if you want to discover the processes of the urban water cycle.

Go back to the homepage!

The water basins

Water in the city

Desalination

Do you know about grey water?

Rainwater harvesting

Greywater recycling in practice

Wastewater treatment

The water cycle in a bowl!

Waterworks through time

Climate change challenges

Rainwater Harvesting Systems in practice

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle

Water resources

Where do I begin?

The water basins

In this activity we learn what a water drainage basin is and why it is important for the experts to study it.

Continue!

Water in the city

What is the "urban water cycle"? Which are the important aspects of water management within a city environment?

Continue!

Desalination

Let's find out how sea and brakish water can become a freshwater resource!

Continue!

Do you know about grey water?

Let's find out what "greywater” is and how we can use it!

Continue!

Rainwater harvesting

Can we collect rainwater? And how to use it? Let's find out!

Continue!

Greywater recycling in practice

How a grewywater system is installed? Let's find out!

Continue!

Wastewater treatment

In this activity we are informed about how wastewater is treated and what we can do with the treated wastewater.

Continue!

The water cycle in a bowl!

Let's travel within the water cycle!

Continue!

Waterworks through time

Let's discover the story behind the historic fountains, cisterns and aqueducts of our town!

Continue!

Climate change challenges

Time to discuss about climate change, causes and impact and how we can cope with it.

Continue!

Rainwater Harvesting Systems in practice

What are the various types of rainwater harvesting systems? Let's find out more about them!

Continue!

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle

What is my water footprint and how can I reduce it?

Continue!

Water resources

Discovering the water resources of our region.

Continue!

Where do I begin?

Let's see why it is important to know about water in our region.

Continue!