The earth’s natural water cycles

The contemporary water cycle – and so freshwater resources – is defined by the interaction of natural and human factors. This chapter highlights key components of the global water cycle most directly relevant to the state of the water resources base. Such components include the land-based water system and the world’s oceans, circulation of water in the atmosphere, surface and subsurface water associated with the continental land mass, accessible and virtual water and people’s role in stabilizing and redirecting this resource – and limiting it through mismanagement, including overabstraction and pollution.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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