#1 Edited by Subjugation (4693 posts) -

I'm on my second city now and I still don't have any idea what you do when water depletes. Even buying from neighbors eventually won't be enough. Surely they didn't design the game so that you actually run out of something as important as water permanently?

Does anyone know how to handle a depleting/dry water table? It's driving me nuts.

#2 Posted by Divina_Rex (351 posts) -

According to a loading screen I saw the water is supposed to come back with rain. However, I've never noticed the water coming back in my short time in my first city. I'm starting to run out of water too and I'm unsure if we have the ability to import water or not.

#3 Edited by crusader8463 (14311 posts) -

I have not been able to play long enough to have this happen, but it's my understanding that the game is supposed to rain from time to time and replenish it. If it doesn't rain though I believe you are shit out of luck. Sounds like it's just a poorly implemented system.

#4 Posted by Divina_Rex (351 posts) -

I have not been able to play long enough to have this happen, but it's my understanding that the game is supposed to rain from time to time and replenish it. If it doesn't rain though I believe you are shit out of luck. Sounds like it's just a poorly implemented system.

Especially for areas that lack a lot of water to begin with.

#5 Posted by rethla (331 posts) -

Water come back with rain wtf? Do the Sims collect their water with buckets on the street?

#6 Edited by djou (828 posts) -

@subjugation: I've been worried about this problem since I just hit 125,000+ population and have started experiencing shortages. The only reasonable solution I found was on the EA forum, via user AntoninusFW (link). I jacked up my taxes to lower demand for residential/industrial and saved up cash to build these treatment plants/pools. Its a big project that's not obvious. When I start a second city I hope to plan better.

"I think this is a really important thread and a result of some poor communication/tutorial about the water mechanics of the game. I read all three pages and would like to offer some advice for everyone, as well as dispel some recurring themes.

First, water does replenish by rain, but it's basically a worthless concept because it rains so rarely and cannot be counted on. It may delay the inevitable, but you're still going to run dry because it will never keep up.

Second, water does replenish by shores MUCH faster than rain, but in my limited experience so far even that rate does not keep up with high population demand.

Third, dirty outflow pipes puts the water back into the ground. That water does not disappear from the map, but rather SEEMS to disappear because it's now gross and polluted. Basically your map still has water, but just a different type of water.

Fourth, water treatment plants do replenish water back into the ground, but it's hard to position a water treatment plant and a water pump right next to each other to reap the benefit of it. Just because it is hard though, doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. Space is limited for everyone but if you're going for high population or mining, you need to respect this gameplay dynamic to be successful.

Fifth, I thought I remembered a dev saying that if you are buying water from a city, the supplier city will NEVER run dry. You won't log into that city and see all your water table run dry if it has been supplying the region, like, say, if that city were supplying resources that do eventually dry up even if you aren't playing that city (you'll come back to it and you'll have no ore left, for example). Keep that in mind if you decide to solve this problem by specializing in water. As long as you aren't playing that city it will never run dry. That's a pro tip, but one I think is sort of more taking advantage of goofy gameplay designing than finding a solution to a gameplay mechanic.

Some things I think people need to reconsider:

First, the game has been out for like 36 hours. No one really knows how to play it yet the best way. I'd encourage all those who are saying this is a 'bug' that needs to be patched to be a little more patient and instead see it as a challenge to overcome. Whether you like it from a gameplay perspective or not, water management in real life is super tricky and expensive. You just need to plan waaaay ahead for it an utilize the resources of the entire cluster of cities connected to yours, not just look at a region as individual cities.

Second, I still think people are playing this game like Simcity 4, where each town is self-sufficient and much more simple. There was no depleting water table there. If a water tower said 40k cubic meters of water, that's what you got forever. Try to go into this game understanding the different gameplay mechanics of this new game. A good example of this is putting outflow pipes by dirty industry because yeah, industry doesn't care and what's a little ground pollution too, right? but you're going to need that water eventually so instead place those outflows in an area you will eventually want to put your water treatment and pumping station later.

Third (and this is the last one) SLOW DOWN!!! The goal of this game is not massive population or raping the earth of all its resources. The goal is to create a long-term sustainable region. Some cities may be your population centers or mining hubs, and those cities are going to be super thirsty. But other cities may have some oil you need so you create a little oil drilling town and use all the excess water of that town to send to megatropolis. It's all a balance, but I'd encourage you all to plan in advance and not feel compelled to build megacities every time you start a new city until you know your region can support it."

#7 Edited by Scrawnto (2413 posts) -

@rethla said:

Water come back with rain wtf? Do the Sims collect their water with buckets on the street?

You do realize that the real water table in the real world is replenished by rain that filters into the earth, right? Where else would that water come from?

#9 Posted by TheTuch (18 posts) -

@djou: Well said. A lot of people's complaints I've noticed is the scale of the game. People want to build their megacities. But this game certainly has a much smaller and intimate scope. It definitely has much more of a micromanagement style of gameplay versus the macro style of previous sim games.

#10 Edited by MariachiMacabre (6937 posts) -

@scrawnto said:

@rethla said:

Water come back with rain wtf? Do the Sims collect their water with buckets on the street?

You do realize that the real water table in the real world is replenished by rain that filters into the earth, right? Where else would that water come from?

I thought it was just a never-ending well with a giant bucket deep in the earth. Or a giant sink.

#11 Edited by rethla (331 posts) -

@scrawnto said:

@rethla said:

Water come back with rain wtf? Do the Sims collect their water with buckets on the street?

You do realize that the real water table in the real world is replenished by rain that filters into the earth, right? Where else would that water come from?

Problem is your city is made of concrete not earth and with sewers under it to dispose of all the rain. In the real world a local rain over a city is useless for sustaining millions of people. In that way this game is very realistic it seems.

#12 Posted by EXTomar (4125 posts) -

There is nothing wrong with scenarios where you need to build the best city you can in a limited space. The issue is when that is always the game. In another SimCity game if you need another resource you'd build out your city to other sections of the area that have the resource where we aren't given that option.

#13 Edited by Subjugation (4693 posts) -

@djou: That's certainly a lot to consider. How in the world did they expect people to figure that out? This whole subject needs more explanation from the game itself rather than people having to do crazy experiments to figure out (in my opinion) awkward solutions.

So the gist of that post is to place sewage outflow pipes next to a water treatment plant?

#14 Posted by Scrawnto (2413 posts) -

@rethla: Well sure. I'll admit that it's an abstraction of the actual process. Real cities can make reservoirs outside of the city itself, dam rivers, etc, and these things are affected by rainfall more directly, but there's not really a place to model that in the game, unless they have a hydroelectric plant/ water reservoir Great Work that I'm not aware of.

#15 Edited by djou (828 posts) -

@subjugation: No idea how people should figure it out. This game does a shit job of explaining a lot of stuff. I'm still unclear about the pros/cons of the city specialization part of the game. I have a private region that I'm experimenting with before I start playing in public regions.

To answer your initial question, yeah water treatment plant by outflow. The placement of my setup is not ideal, I have it in a heavy industrial area which is where I always dumped my sewage in previous games. I'd love to read more about other people's setup. I had a department of utilities and a lot of other infrastructure before I started doing this so its unclear to me how important this stuff is before undertaking a fix.

#17 Posted by Subjugation (4693 posts) -
#18 Edited by NotSoSneakyGuy (64 posts) -

Build Filtration Water Pumps (Edit module), at your Water Pumping Station (Building), next to your Sewage Outpipe/Sewage Treatment Station.

You might want to also shut off Basic Water Pumps (Edit module) over polluted water, unless you don't care about pumping polluted water.

Filtration Pumps cost §60,000 a pop, double a basic pump, for the same water output.

#19 Posted by gkhan (360 posts) -

@scrawnto said:

@rethla: Well sure. I'll admit that it's an abstraction of the actual process. Real cities can make reservoirs outside of the city itself, dam rivers, etc, and these things are affected by rainfall more directly, but there's not really a place to model that in the game, unless they have a hydroelectric plant/ water reservoir Great Work that I'm not aware of.

Most fresh water we consume come from aquifers, i.e. ground water, which is accessed through wells and ultimately derives from rain and snowfall (all fresh does ultimately, it's the only natural way to desalinate water), and prolonged droughts will make that a more scarce resource. It happens over a longer time than SimCity makes it appear though, the average time water resides in aquifers before being consumed is more than 100 years, and much longer for deep aquifers.

#20 Posted by djou (828 posts) -

@notsosneakyguy: Have you been pumping polluted water using this setup? I ask because I have and at 200k I started experiencing a lot of problems. My sims were getting sick as a crazy rate and I couldn't add enough hospital services to deal with it all. I shut off this pumping facility and turned on the fresh water from another part of town, but most of my water had been depleted by this point so the dirty water was all I had left. By the time I got the sickness in hand people were fleeing the city because of lack of water. It was a vicious cycle, dirty water or sick sims. I'm pretty much stumped by how to proceed.

#21 Posted by rethla (331 posts) -

@djou:You need the DLC wich adds the Berlin wall.

#22 Edited by NotSoSneakyGuy (64 posts) -

@djou: I did at first until I shut off the Basic Pump the Water Station starts with. If the station is on top of polluted water, you will need to turn off the Basic Pump or replace it with a Filtration Pump.

Once you have a Sewage Treatment Station, all your sewage turns into clean water next to the station, and eventually all the polluted water will disappear.