Does the water table replenish? I keep running out of water. I'm looking for a sustainable city, but I keep running out of water.

  • 4
    You mean your actual water table is getting less and less blue?
    – theUg
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 5:50
  • @theUg yes and it eventually dries up
    – EhevuTov
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 8:53
  • 1
    @MathewFoscarini, I don’t know if this is a boon, or a curse. ;)
    – theUg
    Commented Mar 7, 2013 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


Yes - the water table does replenish

The water table in SimCity is replenished from the following sources;

  • Rain
  • Water from shorelines
  • Sewage treatment plants
  • Other cities
  • Outflow pipes from industrial buildings

Rain is not a reliable source of replenishment but does contribute. Due to its random nature (it never rains when you want it to) you should never rely on your water table being replenished by rain. Water from the shorelines however does replenish the water table a lot faster than water from rain, but seemingly not fast enough to cater for a sudden explosion in population.

The outflow pipes from industrial buildings will put polluted water back into the ground. This doesn't show up as blue but even so, it is still water. It will need treating before it gets to your Sims but it is still present on the water table.

Sewage Treatment facilities will replenish the water table during their normal operation. Sure they're pretty expensive to place but if you're heading towards a high population city you will need to cater for replenishing the water table just as much as getting garbage off your streets or keeping everything powered.

Some tips for managing your water

  • SimCity is not SimCity 4 - large cities are not supposed to be self sufficient. This is managed by the 'multi-city' game mechanic and if you want clean and efficient cities with large populations you are going to have to import some of your water
  • See water management as a challenge you're going to have to overcome along the way through proper planning and preparation
  • Slow down! The purpose of the game isn't to get a massive population in as little time as possible, the goal is to create a stable region consisting of multiple cities that compliment each other
  • Some cities may be your population centers and some cities may be mining hubs, and these cities are going to be thirsty, but other cities in the region may have an abundance of coal or oil, and these smaller cities can provide the water to your population centers

The best advice for a perpetual water supply

Build a water pump next to a sewage treatment plant. The sewage treatment plant will replenish the water table as fast as the water pump is depleting it, thus providing the effect of infinite water. It's also a good way to pick up germs and make your population sick in the instance of a sewage overflow, so filtration pumps at your water pump may be the way to go with this.

  • 2
    Wouldn't importing water merely delay, not solve, the problem? In other words, if a city drained its own water table, wouldn't it eventually drain the water tables of all other cities in the region? Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 14:05
  • 2
    No - imports do not "take away" from the resources in another city. The number of resources in the city that you're importing from are not affected.
    – kalina
    Commented Mar 8, 2013 at 14:09
  • 1
    I've found sewage treatment plants to be the best sustainable solution without a shoreline. Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 21:46
  • I have just tried the "perpetual water" tip you mentioned. The pumps still dry out after a while...
    – Arete
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 0:09

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