Water cycle and energy production
Sunlight causes continuous evaporation of water from the Earth’s surface. The sun heats the surface, and water in the oceans and on the land changes to vapour, which rises into the sky. The higher the water vapour is carried the colder the air, and the water vapour cools, condenses and forms clouds.
Precipitation forms in the clouds and falls back to earth as rain or snow. Rainwater and snowmelt collect together in rivers and streams. The water loses energy as it flows from the mountains down to the sea. It can be harnessed to generate electricity in a hydropower station, by channelling the water through the turbines.
After the energy has been used, the water continues to the sea and the cycle begins again.