Definition - What does Surface Water mean?
Surface water is any natural water that has not penetrated under the surface of the ground underneath. It is unlike ground-water, which is underground or has seeped under the surface of the earth. Rivers, lakes, oceans and wetlands are commonly known bodies of surface water. Surface water is lost through evaporation and regained through precipitation (rain) or recruited from ground-water sources.
Safeopedia explains Surface Water
Surface water that is not saline (salt) can also be lost by seeping into the ground, where it becomes ground-water, used by plants, mankind for life support, industrial purposes or agricultural purposes, or can enter the sea where it becomes saline water. For reasons of environmental health and safety, there is a need for increased management of both surface and ground-water. This is because to ensure good management of surface water means good management of ground water, as they are interrelated in the water cycle. Surface water is a resource that is being depleted in our modern world due to over-pumping of rivers, lakes, etc..