The water cycle is the continuous circulation of water in solid, liquid and gaseous form. Water is evaporated from oceans, lakes, rivers, soil and living creatures by solar radiation. This is how it reaches the atmosphere. Winds spread the water vapour over the earth. It becomes liquid again by cooling and finally returns into oceans, lakes, rivers and the ground as precipitation (rain, snow or hail). Some of the water seeps away and returns to ground water.