Resources & Tools

Water 101 in Kitsap County

What do the Olympic Mountains have to do with your drinking water? How does your septic system potentially help salmon? How might your lawn be harming our aquifers? Take a 5 minute tour of our Kitsap Water 101 Story Map and learn these and other interesting things about Kitsap’s water resources.

The Water Cycle

Graphic displaying the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, percolation, transpiration, and run-offWater is on a never ending journey between earth and sky. The water we drink is the same water that dinosaurs drank some 200 million years ago. Our water moves constantly in a water cycle. During its journey, water changes form. Water falls to earth as rain, snow, sleet or hail. What happens next depends on where the water lands.

The water may seep into the ground and become groundwater. It might move quickly into a ditch, stream, nearby lake or ocean. Water may be taken up by a plant and pulled up the inside of the stem to its leaves only to escape through tiny pores in the leaves and evaporate. This is called evapotranspiration.

Water on the surface will also be warmed by the sun, evaporate and return to the atmosphere as water vapor. Water vapor moves together to form clouds. This is called condensation. When the clouds get heavy with water droplets, they begin to again fall as precipitation. Depending on where the rain falls, it may take a few days, a few years or a few decades to complete the water cycle.

Visit the United States Geological Survey website to learn more about the water cycle.