The Water Cycle


The water cycle
Early this morning, I was getting ready for the day when I discovered that I didn’t have any water in my house! I tried the sinks in my bathroom and kitchen, the shower and the tub, and even the hose outside, but not a single drop of water came out. I called a plumber to see what the problem was.

While I was waiting, I started thinking to myself, “Where exactly does the water I use come from?” After a few minutes of searching online, I discovered that water doesn’t really come from just one place—because it is always moving, as part of a system called the water cycle.

The water cycle is made up of four main stages: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection. As water moves from one cycle to the next, it has the potential to become a liquid, gas, or solid. For example, think of a small pond on a hot summer day. As the sun heats up the pond, the water changes from a liquid form (water) to a gaseous form (vapor or steam). The vapor rises up into the air until it cools and changes back into water as clouds. Once the air can’t hold these clouds anymore they burst open and the water falls back down to the earth as a liquid (rain) or solid (snow). Finally the water is collected in different sources and the cycle begins over and over again.

As I was reading about the water cycle, I couldn’t help but think about some of the games I’ve played in the Game Alley arcades. These games are also complex systems that rely on the relation- ships and interactions that occur between individual components. Maybe I could use my new knowledge of the water cycle as a model to better understand the idea of systems and improve the design of my games. It will certainly give me something to do while waiting for my faucet to turn back on!