The water cycle is perhaps the most well-known scientific understanding linked with water. While some understandings of the scientific processes that we see as part of the water cycle go back centuries, Jamie Linton traces the development of a cyclical understanding to the early 1930s. Linton points to a schematic by US hydro-geologist Horton in 1931 as crucial in bringing water processes into the realm of hydro-geologists. Understandings about consumptive and non-consumptive water resource use, the impacts of land use and the pollution of water resources have been translated into the popular imagination through the depiction of an ‘urban water cycle’. The urban water cycle is also approached academically, for the purposes of modelling and enumeration of flows. In a paper reviewing how the urban water cycle is modelled, Urich and Rauch provide a general depiction of how models portray the urban system.