Michael Weburg's SimCity 2000 Advanced Strategies Handguide V1.0: The Water System

1.1 To water or not to water.

Before we go into details on how to improve your citys' water systems, it should be made clear that the presence of water in SimCity 2000 has little to no effect on a city. Independant testing details the following:

A new city was built with the proper zone ratios and city services to adequetly provide service to the city for populations up to 50,000. The city was built without the use of waterpumps or other means of providing water. Then, the exact same city was ran, but this time, with a fully sustained water system. The results: both citys achieved 2,000 people after 8 months, and 10,000 people after another 9 months. From that point on, both citys grew at the same rate, and leveled off at about 25,000.

What, then, does this mean? Well, having a fully watered city means little. Testing shows that you can nearly triple your city's value by adding adequete water services, although this has little effect on any other variables. Your city income remains the same, although your bond rating may improve. Since most people tend to stay away from bonds, this is really isn't important. So if conserving land is your goal, forget about a water system.

1.2 Phantom to the rescue?

One way to steer around the water issue is to build a so-called "phantom water pump" by placing a single pump in your city, and connecting it to power, but NOT connecting any pipes to your city. While this does remove all the water shortage messages, it does NOT benefit your city with water in any way. Why? Well, the city's water graph works a little differently than most people think. The percentage you see by selecting water in the graphs window shows what percentage of your pumps' output that's NOT being consumed by the watergrid. So, when your your water graph shows 100, it means 100% of your city's water output is not being used. If it drops to 80, then your city is using 20% of the pumps' output, and 80% isn't being used. In the same manner, if it drops to 0%, then 0% of your pumps' output isn't being used- ALL of it is being used. When you use the phantom pump method, that one pump is merely reporting that 100% of its water is going unused, and is exactly the same as having no pumps at all. This does, however, trick the simulator into not reporting water shortages.

1.3 Efficient Water Solutions For those of you that insist of maintaining a fully watered city, and I am one of them, there is a "trick" that greatly increases a pump's efficiency. This is done by placing a drop of water adjacent to the pump. Each drop of water added to the pump's 8 sides is like adding a whole other pump, if not better. What, then, is the best way to make use of this trick? Well, many have came up with a specific pattern of pumps and water tiles, but the most efficient pattern is one where the number of pumps roughly equals the number of water tiles. I have yet to see a pattern than can pump more water in the same amount of space.

Click here for full image

Note that pumps in row 3 have 6 water tiles servicing them.

This pattern has been tested side-by-side with virtually every other possible pattern, and consistantly pumps 33% more water than most. Note that only fresh water will increase a pump's productivety. Salt water will not, although salt water is required for desalinization plants.

Content of this page was provided by Michael Weburg.
This Web Page was created by Patrick Coston July 19, 1995, Last updated April 4, 2006