Skip to main content
Free course

Water use and the water cycle

Free statement of participation on completion
Water use and the water cycle Copyrighted Icon

Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. Water use and the water cycle is a free course designed to give an introduction to the subject.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the different ways in which water is used, and the quantities used for various purposes
  • distinguish consumptive and non-consumptive uses of water
  • recognise uses of water that are elastic in demand and those uses that are inelastic in demand
  • describe and quantify the processes that transfer water between parts of the hydrological cycle, calculate residence times for water in different parts of the hydrosphere, and identify those parts of the cycle that are most suitable for water resources
  • recognise the factors that control precipitation, interception, evaporation, transpiration and how these vary globally.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 14/08/2017

Skip Rate and Review