Surface water is water on the surface of the planet such as in a stream, river, lake, wetland, or ocean. It can be contrasted with groundwater and atmospheric water.
Non-saline surface water is replenished by precipitation and by recruitment from ground-water. It is lost through evaporation, seepage into the ground where it becomes ground-water, used by plants for transpiration, extracted by mankind for agriculture, living, industry etc. or discharged to the sea where it becomes saline.« Back to Glossary Index