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Sources and Uses of water

Natural Sources of Water and Its Uses for Class 5 Science

From this concept, the students will get an idea about the natural sources of water and uses of water.
After reading the concept, students will be able to:

  • Explain a few surface water sources.
  • Name the sources of underground water.
  • Recall the uses of water in daily life.
  • Differentiate between the domestic use of water and industrial use of water.
  • Describe the water cycle and its importance.
  • Recall the water cycle steps like evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection.

Each concept is explained to class 5 students using descriptions, illustrations, and concept maps. After you go through a concept, assess your learning by solving the two printable worksheets given at the end of the page.

Download the worksheets and check your answers with the worksheet solutions for the concept of the Natural Sources of Water and Its Uses provided in PDF format.

Water is an essential natural resource. Along with air and soil, it plays a vital role in the existence of life on earth. Water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen in a ratio of 2:1. 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water in the form of seas and oceans.


Important sources of water:

  • Oceans cover a significant portion of the earth.
  • Water found in oceans contains salts and minerals.
  • For this reason, ocean water is not suitable for drinking and domestic purpose.
Snow and glaciers:
  • They comprise 2% of the total water available on earth.
  • However, water from snow and glaciers is fresh and does not contain excessive salts and minerals.
  • Hence, glaciers and snow fulfil 98% demand for freshwater.
  • Glaciers and snow melt to form water that reaches us in the form of rivers.

Importance of Water in the Human Body:

  • 70% of our body comprises water.
  • Water participates in vital bodily processes like digestion, circulation and excretion.
  • Water is important for the overall functioning of our bodies.
  • Humans can survive without food for some days but not without water.

Types of Water:

Surface water:
  • The water that flows on the earth’s surface is called surface water.
  • Surface water is available in the form of water in rivers, oceans, seas and lakes.
Underground Water:
  • The rainwater that gets infiltrated through the soil reaches the deeper layers of soil and accumulates to form a water reserve called an aquifer.
  • It is generally found in the bedrock where the hard stones do not allow passage of water. Thus, the water gets collected in the cracks and holes.
  • Underground water is pumped using tubewells and handpumps.
  • In some places, the underground water is available in the form of springs.

Uses of Water:

Water is used for various purposes. Some of them are described below—

  • Out of the total freshwater available on the earth’s surface, 84% of the water is used for irrigation.
  • Water for irrigation is provided through canals and tubewells.

1. Domestic use:

    • 4% of water available is used for domestic purposes.
    • It includes washing, cleaning, drinking, cooking, flushing toilets and irrigating small plants and lawns.
2. Industrial use:
  • 12% of the freshwater available is used for industrial uses.
  • Water is used for fabricating and making dyes.
  • Water also plays the role of a coolant in thermal power plants.
  • It is an important solvent that can dissolve most compounds in it and hence plays a vital role in the chemical industry.

Water Cycle:

  • It is the cyclic process of the movement of water from the atmosphere to the lithosphere and then back to the atmosphere.
  • The water cycle is a continuous process and depends on different environmental factors.
  • It comprises the following steps—
  • The conversion of water from liquid to gaseous form is called evaporation.
  • Water from seas, oceans, lakes etc., evaporates due to the sun’s heat.
  • Evaporation depends on temperature and wind.
  • The evaporation rate is more on hot and windy days than on cool days or rainy days.
  • The conversion of water vapour back into the liquid state is called condensation.
  • As the water vapour rises upward, they start to cool due to the low temperatures in the upper layers of the atmosphere.
  • It leads to the formation of water droplets which accumulate to form clouds.
  • The water droplets condense to create fog and dew when the temperature becomes too low.
  • The reaching of evaporated water back to the lithosphere in the form of rain, sleet, drizzle or snowfall is called precipitation.
  • Drizzle, rain, sleet, and snowfall are the different forms of precipitation.
precipitation of water
  • When the temperature is low during winters, the water droplets get converted into ice or snow, leading to hailstorms or snowfall, respectively.
  • Once the evaporated water reaches the lithosphere, the cycle repeats itself and starts with evaporation again.
  • The process of seeping water into the deeper layers of soil is called infiltration.
  • Infiltration replenishes the groundwater level.
  • This process is affected by the building of cemented roads. As cement is not porous, it does not allow the water to percolate into the soil.
  • Hence, we should always keep some parts around our houses bare or covered with grass so that water can reach the deeper layers of soil.

 New Words


Atmosphere: The layer of a mixture of gases surrounds the earth

Lithosphere: : The outer solid part of the earth comprising rocks and soil.

Hailstorm: A type of precipitation that is a mixture of rain and hard ice chunks.


Did You Know?

  • Fogbow is a phenomenon similar to that of a rainbow which appears when the sunlight gets refracted by the fog particles.
  • Water is the best solvent on earth which can dissolve many solutes in it.
  • Cucumber has 95% of water in it.
  • Drinking too much water can lead to a fatal phenomenon called water intoxication.


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