Running Water


The city of Samson Valley is doing OK, and many parts of it are rather pretty. Its main industries are tourism and renewable timber. Mainly, though, I built this city to try out all the stuff in the new Mass Transit DLC. I’ve built a network of roads, monorails, blimps, buses, taxis, trolleys, and ferries to move Samson Valley’s citizens around.


Samson Valley is built on the Seven Lakes map. It’s a flat area, so I didn’t see the need for gondolas. Considering what eventually happened because of the ferry network, maybe a cross-lake gondola or two might have been useful after all.

I built a ferry line around the northwest lake. Then, when an earthquake struck the land south of the lake, it gave me an idea. I turned the fault line into a canal, and expanded the ferry line to connect two lakes, and more of the city.


The ferry line wasn’t nearly as popular as the cross-town blimp line, however. Still, it offered citizens an alternative.

When land became available to the south, Samson Valley finally had access to a cruise ship line, and its tourist industry grew. I built a satellite community around the cruise ship harbor. I connected the southern community to the rest of the city via a highway and a blimp line. I dug another canal and excavated a water passageway between the southeast lake and the river leading to wherever the cruise ships are sailing from. I extended the ferry network down to the cruise ship harbor.


Still, tourists much preferred the blimp to the ferry. People were waiting forever as blimps filled to capacity, leaving them behind, while ferries sailed mostly empty. I don’t get it. After sailing for weeks on a cruise ship, who wouldn’t want to transfer to another boat and sail some more?

Then I noticed that the water level of the northwest lake was dropping. It was dropping a lot. Ferries were in danger of becoming grounded.

At first, I thought it was the water pumps supplying the city with drinking water. I moved the pumps to another lake, but the water level kept dropping.

Then, finally, I realized the problem. All those canals I’d built had created an open water flow from the lake to the river. The water was draining from the northwest lake out to sea. The connected central and southeast lakes were draining, too.

The realistic water physics of Cities:Skylines often amazes me.

I considered demolishing a canal or two, damming up the water passageway, and deleting the cruise harbor ferry line. But I didn’t want to do that. Even though it’s a poor performer, I like that cruise harbor ferry line.

Then I remembered the fresh water outlet that came with Natural Disasters. I’d never found a use for one before, and I’d forgotten they’d even existed. I placed a few of them around the shore of the northwest lake. (I should really name those lakes someday.) I even placed one on Prison Island, so that industrious prisoners could escape through the vent.

I don’t know where the water comes from, but fresh water began filling up the northwest lake. The water level was rising, but slowly. I added more outlets. It was working. I decided to organize things a bit. I built a couple of short canals and moved the fresh water outlets, even the one on Prison Island, to the sides of the canals. It solved the problem, for now, and they even look pretty, in an industrial sort of way.

water outflow

If needed, I’ll use the same system on the southeast lake. Or, if water supplies run low, I can shut of an outlet or two.

So, the cruise harbor ferry is saved for now. Local tip: Tourists smart enough to use it get a close-up view of the mini-atoll created by a meteor strike.