Lāna‘i Water Cycle

The Water Cycle is the journey of water as it circulates from land to sky and back. The sun evaporates water from the Earth’s surface (oceans, lakes, etc.). Plants also lose water to the air. Water vapor condenses forming into clouds. When clouds meet cool air over land, it begins to rain and water returns to the land or sea. Some rain soaks into the ground. Some underground water is trapped between rock or clay layers (called groundwater), but most water flows downhill as runoff (above ground or underground), eventually returning to the sea.

Diagram of Lanai water cycle with numbered step one white cloud raining water down to step two brown soil absorbing water to step three water collecting in underground aquifers in different shades of blue to step four water drawn up through wells

1. Precipitation
Water cycle starts with rainfall or fog drip.

2. Infiltration
Water permeates through rocks and soil into the aquifers.

3. Storage
Water collects in the aquifers.

4. Usage
Water is drawn up through wells for distribution