Water Conservation is Bad????

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Eric Larsen
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Water Conservation is Bad????

#1 Post by Eric Larsen » Dec 14 2005

I've been playing Southern California in the US-California scenario and I've got a big water production shortfall. So I tried one game where I researched it myself and just about the time I was getting finished the WM offers to sell me the tech but I declined. Then in other games I discovered that Northern California has water conservation even though they are water rich. So I bought water conservation on day 1 from No CA for a mere $450.66M and saw a nice drop in water demand.

Problem was that drop in demand for water because of conservation did not translate into more money for purchasing other products. It seemed to make inflation drop more because demand dropped more. It dropped my domestic sales dramatically which ofcourse hurt my profit margin on domestic sales which ofcourse led to more unemployment. The only benefit was a decrease in my trade imbalance but it should not be the only benefit.

Why did my domestic sales drop dramatically when it should have remained about flat as the money saved on water conservation should have translated into more purchases in other products? Granted the water industry would have suffered some small employment losses, but they should have been small not large.

I certainly hope that BG will look into what looks like a bug. Water conservation should not be a bad thing economically, it should be a benefit. The loss of domestic water sales should translate into higher sales of other products with total sales remaining at around the same level. I live very near the Pacific Ocean and occasionally we have to excercise water conservation which isn't really popular but a necessary evil when water is in short supply. A real pity that for several decades the locals have argued over building a water desalination plant without actually doing anything while the population increases.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Re: Water Conservation is Bad????

#2 Post by BigStone » Dec 15 2005

Eric Larsen wrote:So I bought water conservation on day 1
Please keep in mind that the game stabilize after a few months
from beginning....
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Re: Water Conservation is Bad????

#3 Post by Seydlitz » Dec 15 2005

Eric Larsen wrote:Water conservation should not be a bad thing economically, it should be a benefit. The loss of domestic water sales should translate into higher sales of other products with total sales remaining at around the same level.
I don't think this is necessarily true. If I cut my electric bill by 10%, I'm not going to run out and buy more food. If my (personal) demand for goods is filled, and my demand in one area drops, it doesn't mean that my demand in another will increase. It can, but this isn't universal.

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Saving money

#4 Post by Eric Larsen » Dec 16 2005

Seydlitz,
While I do not expect that every penny saved on water would be spent on other stuff I do expect that those savings do get spent more than saved. If a consumer saves money by conserving water then that consumer has more money to spend on other consumer goodies. In our savings foolish society that consumer does not just put those savings in the bank, they go spend it. Especially at the lower levels. The rich would probably bank most of the savings but at the bottom end those savings will get spent in it's entirety. The middle will spend most and save a little.

While you and I can save our consumer savings because we already have plenty of the necessities of life we cannot assume that that goes for everyone. We should not have to wait months for something like this to "stabilize". A good chunk of those savings should be immediately spendable as people tend to spend as soon as they have extra money in hand.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Patience????

#5 Post by Eric Larsen » Dec 16 2005

BigStone wrote:
Eric Larsen wrote:So I bought water conservation on day 1
Please keep in mind that the game stabilize after a few months
from beginning....
BigStone,
Are you saying that regardless of what I do I just have to have patience and ride out the first few months before things stabilize? I did play through about 6 months of the US-California scenario once before I finally got GDP/c to rise while the AI's were still dropping. But after getting whacked by the WM with a 9.5% bond renewal I figured it was time to hit the reset button and try again. I have gone 3 or 4 months several times trying to wrestle GDP/c and domestic sales to go up but so far I've really not seen my economy stabilize without trashing it.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Water Conservation is Bad!!!

#6 Post by Eric Larsen » Dec 20 2005

I researched water conservation again and found that the day after I got finished I added another $2 billion to my annual deficit! :cry: Where does all the savings go from water conservation? I can see where it dropped my domestic sales quite a bit, thus dropping tax revenues. Even with the savings on importing water I still saw a massive hit on my economy that just should not happen.

I live in Salinas, CA, a mere 15 miles from the biggest body of water on the planet, yet we occasionally have to put up with water rationing. Really the only loser are lawns as those are the first things people save water on. Surprisingly one of the biggest winners during water rationing is the irrigation supply industry. I have an irrigation supply company for a client and they do more sales during a period of water rationing than during periods without. More people put in drip irrigation systems then than during normal times as they save water and lawns. Another big winner are stores that sell water efficient toilets, those sales always rise during water rationing times as people buy them up to save water and money.

Water rationing is not bad for business, it actually helps businesses. Instead of water rationing causing such a drastic downturn in business it should keep business at the same levels. There should be no drastic drop in annual domestic sales in one day. It should not take months to "stabilize". What money isn't spent on water due to saving should be respent on other products. While the water industry will take a small hit other industries experience gains just like I showed.

Water conservation should be a good thing in SR2010. It should end up helping the annual budget, not trashing it. Especially when you're short on water that import savings should translate into budget savings. The drop in water consumption should translate into increased sales in other goods. Please fix water conservation so it does indeed become the good thing it really is economically.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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#7 Post by Balthagor » Dec 20 2005

If you have a savegame from just before the tech completes research, please send it over, if not I'll just make a test case myself at some point. I have researched it before and thought it helped meet demand, but didn't look closely at the economic impact.
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Eric Larsen
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Feeling like Chicken Little

#8 Post by Eric Larsen » Dec 22 2005

Balthagor wrote:If you have a savegame from just before the tech completes research, please send it over, if not I'll just make a test case myself at some point. I have researched it before and thought it helped meet demand, but didn't look closely at the economic impact.
Chris,
Drats, no current saved game file for the water conservation snafu. But I'll just have to play my same game over yet again and this time I will save the game the day before I finish researching water conservation so I can send you a file you can then see how water conservation impacts the economy. No problem replaying the same thing as that is the way I'm learning the ropes right now as each time I do different stuff I can see what's changing and that's how I figure out how stuff works, or doesn't.

I do have a saved game file for the cost per unit snafu I found listed in my post there. I really like your game and feel a little like chicken little sometimes trying to point out things that don't look kosher to me and then having to put up with players complaining that I should just be happy and not worry. Sorry I'm not Alfred E. Newman. :D I'm just an old veteran beta tester/scenario designer myself and it's hard to break good old habits. Chances are you may have played some of my handiwork.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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#9 Post by Balthagor » Dec 22 2005

I've only skimmed your other post, I'm not moderator for that section. I will mention it to Legend and see if he has had a chance to examine the issue. If you would like to send him a savegame I'm sure he would not mind; daxon@battlegoat.com

No rush on the water conservation, it may take some time before I get to it anyway, plenty of other work keeping us busy ;)
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#10 Post by The_Blind_One » Dec 22 2005

Balthagor wrote:If you have a savegame from just before the tech completes research, please send it over, if not I'll just make a test case myself at some point. I have researched it before and thought it helped meet demand, but didn't look closely at the economic impact.
This has nothing to do with a tech bug, this actually has to do that the economic model is kinda bogus. The initial GDP/C is set in the scenario.csv file's, u can only fill the demand (and earn profit margins over that demand) through the initial settings in the scenario.csv

The game goes like this...(case = a self-sufficient economy with all spending normal)


gdp/c: 21000

Agriculture: 1 tonne per capita
oil: 20 oil barrels per capita
Timber: 2 x 100 meter timber per capita
Freshwater: 2.48 x 1000 m^3 per capita
Electricity: 5.4 MWH per capita
Consumer goods: 0.25 tonne per capita

Now u can only gain profit by filling up this demand, the base demand are the numbers above...if gdp/c is halved, demand is halved...so with a gdp/c of 21000 u have demand of 0.25 tonne consumer good per person, but if u have a gdp/c of 10500 then ur demand would be 0.125 tonne consumer good per person...okay? ofcourse this is effected by domestic sales markup and everything...generally I find that LOWERING the domestic price actually increases net profits by selling more.

Okay well anyways...so if u LOWER demand for water...u will lose out on potential sales to customers...remember...aslong as u sell for more than it costs, ur making profits...so if ur selling for more then u are doing the right thing...no sense in lowering demand now is there?

there's also a tech somewhere around tech level 105 or so where u have some advanced consumer recycling wich reduces consumer goods demand...I never research it cause it actually destroys net profits.

Keep ur demand as high as possible and try to maximise ur sales, best way to make money.

If ur not filling demand somewhere...ur doing something wrong, in this game people don't spend more money on consumer just because there not spending on agriculture, atleast not in this game.

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#11 Post by tkobo » Dec 22 2005

Things is , the tech is a CHOICE to research. Nothing forces u to research it.

And some regions may for whatever reason be unable to fill their domestic demand,hence they might want to reduce it.
This tech allows them to have another way to do so.

If they remain in a shortage situation, their DAR can suffer.
If they raise prices to lower demand, their dar can suffer also.
If they spend money on importing,that money might be missed, and they become forced to rely on the outside.

This option, doesnt have (that i know of) a negative effect on DAR, nor does it make you rely on others in order to meet you demand.

So,depending on the conditions, it might well be a good choice.
This post approved by Tkobo:Official Rabble Rouser of the United Yahoos
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#12 Post by Gripen » Jan 06 2006

wow, regarding those techs, let the buyer beware...

Blind one wrote:
there's also a tech somewhere around tech level 105 or so where u have some advanced consumer recycling wich reduces consumer goods demand...I never research it cause it actually destroys net profits.
Thank you Eric for bringing this topic up, and T_B_O for explaining the details about Consumer Recycling.
I made researching the Water and Recycling techs a standard ritual in most all my games.

Now, after your posts, I doubt I'll be doing that in the future.

I never analyzed the possible downsides to those techs since I assumed after spending the cost and time researching those techs (especially for Consumer Recycling which has 1-2 prerequisites), there would be only positive effects, and no secondary negative effects.

Perhaps there could be some modification to their effects to make them more beneficial, or at least a note/warning added to the description added to some of these Pro/Con techs.
ie.
-5% Demand for Consumer Goods (but Domestic Sales CG may decrease!)

Gripen

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Getting it Correct

#13 Post by Eric Larsen » Jan 17 2006

Gripen wrote:wow, regarding those techs, let the buyer beware...

Thank you Eric for bringing this topic up, and T_B_O for explaining the details about Consumer Recycling.
I made researching the Water and Recycling techs a standard ritual in most all my games.

Now, after your posts, I doubt I'll be doing that in the future.

I never analyzed the possible downsides to those techs since I assumed after spending the cost and time researching those techs (especially for Consumer Recycling which has 1-2 prerequisites), there would be only positive effects, and no secondary negative effects.

Perhaps there could be some modification to their effects to make them more beneficial, or at least a note/warning added to the description added to some of these Pro/Con techs.
ie.
-5% Demand for Consumer Goods (but Domestic Sales CG may decrease!)

Gripen
Gripen,
I thought water conservation would be a good thing to research as it would cut demand for water which should free up disposable income for purchasing other products. Seems like the savings goes down some black hole which hopefully will get fixed. Conservation should be rewarded properly or why else have the tech to research in the first place? Some players seem to think it's okay that conservation isn't given it's proper due but if the tech is there to research it should work properly when it is finished so the player is rewarded for doing something social friendly. Thankfully BG seems interested in making sure conservation techs are working properly so players can research them and get rewarded rather than punished.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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#14 Post by The_Blind_One » Jan 18 2006

I thought water conservation would be a good thing to research as it would cut demand for water which should free up disposable income for purchasing other products. Seems like the savings goes down some black hole which hopefully will get fixed.
Yep, that's how it SHOULD be :D

But the game rules state
with a gdp/c of 21000 the demand is.

Agriculture: 1 tonne per capita
oil: 20 oil barrels per capita
Timber: 2 x 100 meter timber per capita
Freshwater: 2.48 x 1000 m^3 per capita
Electricity: 5.4 MWH per capita
Consumer goods: 0.25 tonne per capita
The game looks at demand, then given with the correct amount of gdp/c it will try to reach this goal, increasing domestic markup decreases demand, decreasing markup increases demand. However using a tech will only decrease demand. It would only be a smart idea if you were unable to produce the water yourself and are forced to import it, in order to decrease prices and increase DAR (from making up in import costs by selling the goods) u could opt to take water conversation.

Any other reasons I would find silly.

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#15 Post by Balthagor » Jan 19 2006

still not fully caught up on the thread, but one thing I should mention is that the per person demand for goods can be adjusted both for the overall scenario and for the individual regions.

In the Player Configuration file there are two places to do this. To change the demand for a product for all regions use the value wmprodperperson[X]; where X = the product's number (zero for agri, one for ore, etc). If this value = 1 then any region who's GDP/c = wmgdpc; from the configuration file will demand 1 unit per person daily. If they have a higher GDP/c they will demand more and if it is lower they will demand less on a sliding scale.

The second place is in the section that shows production efficiency and opening stock values. The value for demandppmod[X]; can be from 0.00 to 1.00 and makes the demand for the given region a percentage of overall demand equal to the value given. Using the above example, if a region has 0.5 for this value then they would demand 1/2 a unit per person daily. This value is not always used since it defaults to 1.00 if not added. It can be seen in the configuration file for the world scenario. An example of where this would be useful is in places like the mideast where timber is in much lower demand since alternate materials are used for construction. If you have two regions in a sceanrio that have very different demands this value can make it easier to balance them.

I've included this to try and provide a better understanding of how the game mechanics work but I should mention that the second value that allows adjusting per region demand was added very late in the development so is not widely used. We would have needed perhaps six months to review all the scearnios, know what percentage they each needed and rebalance them. Overall the delay would have had so little effect on gameplay it was considered unimportant. However, anyone designing their own scenarios may wish to use this values and if someone wishes to update existing scenarios this is something they could play with.

(I've made myself a note to add some of this to the wiki...)
Chris Latour
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