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Understanding the water cycle

The urban design of cities across the world is slowly shifting towards a greener landscape.

This movement has come to counter balance mass urbanization which consequently gives rise to impervious surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. These surfaces accumulate stormwater, pollutants, and are susceptible to flooding, which result in devastating economic and environmental repercussions for our communities.

Understanding the water cycle, however, gives us an opportunity to grasp the importance of pervious vegetative lands that our ecosystem requires to stay in harmony. As Earth is a closed ecosystem which exchanges energy with its surroundings, the water cycle is an example of waters continuous movement within our biosphere. No new matter is brought into our world and for that reason it is important that all elements on Earth are recycled.

Powered by solar energy, water is evaporated from the surface of the Earth into water vapour. Water vapour then turns into clouds and once the water in the clouds turns cold, it is expelled from the sky in the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail. The water sinks into the surface and/or is collected into our lakes, oceans, or aquifers whereby the cycle starts over again. From liquid, solid, and gas the water cycle has no beginning or end.

However, in today’s urban layout there is less and less space for the water to seep back into the soil due to the large amounts of concrete and asphalt covering our driveways, parking lots, and roads. This causes a disruption in the natural exchange of energy which can cause flooding and other negative side effects on the environment. All this requires a rethink on how we decide to build our homes and cities.

One solution to increasing vegetative lands while still accommodating growth is permeable paving. This allows water to soak into the ground and enables the exchange of humidity between air and soil, thereby aiding the natural ecology of the land. Permeable grounds also have the additional benefit of cooling urban spaces by reducing the heat in the summer creating a more pleasant environment for everybody.

Purepave Technologies is extremely proud to be at the forefront of stormwater management infrastructure by offering industry leading permeable paving solutions across North America.

Our mission is to help communities build towards a sustainable future which we see as one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. For more information and educational resources, email us at

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