The water cycle consists of precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration and runoff. This graphic explains the global water cycle, showing how nearly 577 000 km3 of water circulates through the cycle each year. A table of estimated residence times of the world's water shows the estimated times that water resources exist as biospheric water; atmospheric water; river channels; swamps; lakes and reservoirs; soil moisture; ice caps and glaciers; oceans and seas, and groundwater. The estimated residence times range from one week to 10,000 years.
From collection: Vital Water Graphics
Philippe Rekacewicz, Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal