A waterpump is a familiar and readily available local utility designed to efficiently extract groundwater. It comprises either a manually or mechanically operated piston that lifts water at a faster rate than traditional well usage. The pump's construction typically involves a cylindrical barrel, a central pipe crafted from wood, metal, or stone masonry, a movable metal or wooden disk that is raised and lowered to facilitate water movement and a physical handle for operating the pump.
An operator can manipulate this handle, and after thirty seconds of pumping, initiate a steady flow of water, yielding one gallon for every ten strokes. Each stroke corresponds to one action point, providing a practical means of accessing water.
Hand-operated pumping allows laundresses to wash clothes in a tub rather than on a riverbank, as it swiftly generates enough fresh water to make this practice feasible. Numerous additional advantages stem from this versatility.
When harnessed by a water mill, this rate increases to 2½ gallons per minute. Such a volume proves ample for various community needs, including providing water for numerous animals at a public trough, expanding local irrigated farmland and facilitating the water flow required for fulling and other industries.
As any mill's driving mechanism can be adapted to power a water pump alongside its primary functions, hexes with a sufficient number of hammers to signify a water pump assume that every established local mill serves this dual purpose, even if none were originally constructed explicitly for water pumping.
While the energy consumption of water pumps remains minimal, the reliance on materials such as wood and stone does result in a heightened need for maintenance. Breakages and a drop in water pressure are common challenges that require regular attention.
Moreover, in arid regions, the excessive demand on groundwater can lead to its depletion at the source. Paradoxically, the efficiency of water pumping can become an issue, necessitating a waiting period for the aquifer or other groundwater sources to naturally replenish. In some locations, the groundwater supply is so limited that even with the presence of water pumps, no more than 5 gallons can be extracted in a single day. A dungeon master may, therefore, assign a limitation to such pumps as way of creating scarcity in a given adventure.
To create a waterpump, either by hand or using magic, the character must possess a knowledge in hydraulics. Installing a water pump can range from several days to several weeks, depending on the need to identify the best places and gathering materials at the place of construction.