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Water and the Weather

How Does Water Get to Your Home?, Extreme Weather

Some of the water you drink comes from rivers. Some comes from rainwater that has soaked into the ground. All of this water originally came from the ocean. Eventually, it will go back to the ocean. This movement of water is called the water cycle.


Ice to Steam You may have drunk some of the same water that Abraham Lincoln drank! This is because water is always moving around the water cycle.

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How Does Water Get to Your Home?

The water that you use every day has come from a river or from a well. It is brought to your home through many miles of pipes.

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Most of the water on Earth is in the oceans. This water is salty, so we cannot drink it. Some dry countries have no rivers. Their drinking water comes from the ocean. Water from the ocean must be treated in a desalination plant to remove the salt. This costs a lot more money than cleaning up water from rivers.

Water from a river may be very muddy. It may contain microorganisms that could make you ill. The water has to be treated to make sure it is safe for you to drink.

Water from sinks, showers, and toilets is taken away in sewage pipes. This is called wastewater. Wastewater must be treated before it runs back into rivers or the sea. This stops the waste from causing pollution.

Ice to Steam Wastewater is made safe at a water treatment plant.

Extreme Weather

Clouds form when water vapor in the air condenses. Sometimes clouds grow into huge cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds can bring bad weather.

There are strong winds blowing up and down inside cumulonimbus clouds. It is dangerous for airplanes to fly through them. The winds inside the cloud also cause thunder and lightning.


In the United States, lightning kills more than 70 people each year.

Ice to Steam Lightning from a cumulonimbus cloud.

Ice to Steam Cumulonimbus clouds can bring bad weather. This photograph shows the results of severe flooding in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Cumulonimbus clouds are very big. They hold a lot of water. Rain from these clouds can cause floods. If part of the cloud temperature is below the freezing point of water, hail stones can form.

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