Chapter 5: Freshwater – issues and conflicts • Precipitation – The transfer of moisture as dew, hail, rain, sleet or snow to the earth’s surface from the atmosphere. • Interception – the capture of raindrops by plant cover, which prevents directs contact with the soil. • Run-off – precipitation that does not soak into the ground but flows over it into surface waters. • Groundwater – Water held underground in soil or porous rock, often feeding springs or wells. • Evapotranspiration – the loss of water from vegetation and water surfaces to the atmosphere. • The global hydrological cycle is the transfer of water between sea, air and land. It includes evaporation from oceans, water vapour, condensation, precipitation, runoff, groundwater and evapotranspiration.