Here, we evaluate several aspects of the MERRA-2 global water cycle in comparison with observations (when available) and other reanalyses, considering the impact of these advancements on the reanalyzed water cycle. Spurious effects of the observing system on the interannual variability of total column water have been significantly ameliorated; likewise, the interannual variability of the transport of water from ocean to land does not exhibit changes depending on the observing system. Precipitation variability is more dependent on ocean evaporation, which is a function of the prescribed SSTs and assimilated surface winds, and so those observations can affect the global water cycle noticeably. In general the water cycle is generally too intense, with too much Ocean evaporation, precipitation and transport, but still within the range of the most recent reanalyzes estimates. Improvements in the boundary layer parameterization are also allowing for the development of stronger gradients in weather systems, which in turn is allowing for the production of more intense precipitation events. An experiment has been run without the AIRS instrument, showing that its influence in the global sense is small, but more significant when considering land and ocean areas separately. The MERRA-2 water cycle shows some distinct advantages over MERRA, but areas for further improvement will also be discussed.