Sources of Water: List of Different Sources of Water with Pictures of Sources Water

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Photo of Sources of Water: List of Different Sources of Water with Pictures of Sources Water

A source of water simply refers to a point where water can be found. Source of water does not necessarily mean the water must be clean or pure. It simply means there is water that can be found there; be it dirty water or clean water). There are different sources of water but the three main sources of water are: rain water, surface water and ground water. These 3 main sources of water combine to circulate around the earth in what is known as the Hydrological Cycle. The pictures, diagram and chart of the different types of water sources including the hydrological cycle are shown below.

The Main Sources of Water

When rain falls, it flows to streams, then to rivers and then seas and oceans forming surface water while some sip into the ground to form underground water. This shows that rainwater is the main source of water supply to the earth.

  1. Rainwater
  2. Groundwater
  3. Surface water


Rainwater is the water gotten from rainfall; this source of water is usually pure and can be used for domestic chores or consumption if the means through which it is collected is clean. Usually, rainwater is collected using tiles or sheeting; use of thatch or lead is not healthy but harmful.

Rainwater is useful where other sources of water not available or are polluted. The disadvantage of rainwater is that it is not always available because rainfall is seasonal and cannot serve the need of a community or homes always, hence it cannot be used as a sole source of water supply.

A Drawing showing the different sources of water through the hydrological cycle
A Drawing showing the different sources of water through the hydrological cycle



Groundwater is the source of water derived from rainwater or surface water that has soaked to the ground. Groundwater is not static as when it soaks to the ground, it reaches a level where it becomes saturated and can no more move downwards again but rather starts moving horizontally under the ground. This level of saturation and horizontal movement is referred to as Water level the level under the ground where there is a pool of water collection.

Groundwater is quite pure because as the water sips downwards, it is continuously filtered by the layers of soil especially when it is filtered through fine granular soil. Examples of groundwater includes water from springs, from wells and from boreholes.

Surface water

This is a water source that is found on the surface of the ground and it is gotten from collection of rainwater on the surface of the earth. Surface water is not a clean source of water as it becomes contaminated with many organisms, debris and chemicals as the water flows. Examples of surface water sources include rivers, lakes, seas, ponds, oceans and dams. Surface water is the most common source of water and is mostly collected and purified before supplying to communities for consumption.

List of Different Sources Of Water

  1. Rainwater
  2. Lakes
  3. Rivers
  4. Ponds
  5. Seas
  6. Oceans
  7. Well
  8. Springs
  9. Boreholes
  10. Dams

Classification of Sources of Water

Sources of water can be classified into two: Natural water sources and Artificial water sources

Artificial Sources of Water

This is a source of water is created by man artificially and not found naturally. Artificial sources of water include Boreholesman-made Dams, lakes and ponds.

Natural Sources of Water

This is a source of water that nature itself made without human effort. This include rainwater, natural lakes, natural ponds, natural dams, and springs.

Drawing of Rainwater collection methods
Drawing of Rainwater collection methods


A Drawing showing the methods of Rainwater collection. The use of sheets and tiles are the clean methods of rainwater collection; use of thatch and mud roofs causes contamination.