I've been curious lately about what sort of additives people might consider using in water wars. isoaker has said in the past that this sort of discussion is not allowed
, but that was 10 years ago, and it seems to me that we have a variety of safe options.
Non-toxic colored dye seems harmless and could be useful for tagging purposes. Dye already seems to be used with water cannons for riot control
, and it appears to pose no safety risks by itself. The water cannons themselves, however, appear to be dangerous when protesters are shot in the wrong areas.
Salt also seems to be generally harmless, and could even be naturally occurring, so banning it wouldn't make a lot of sense to me. There is the possibility of corrosion of the water blaster from high salinity, but hard water poses the same threat and no one proposes banning that. Salt could slightly increase the surface tension
, which would prevent stream breakup usually, and it also could increase the viscosity a fair bit
(see figure 3), which could reduce turbulence.
Various polymers are known to increase the range of fire hoses (up to 40%!) because they reduce friction from the fire hose, and they might change how the stream breaks up too. Apparently at least some of these polymers are non-toxic and sold as laxatives
. While I wouldn't propose eating it straight up if you didn't need the medicine, I don't think these are unsafe when diluted.
Glycerin increases the viscosity of the water, which would reduce turbulence, and is recognized by the FDA as generally safe. It exists in food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, too, so you probably have ingested some before without noticing. I tested glycerin before (can't remember exactly, but I think it was like 95% water and 5% glycerin) and found that it increased the range of Supercannon II from 73 feet to 77 feet, though I only did one shot with glycerin, so it might increase the range more or less on average.
It seems to me that there are plenty of other completely non-toxic additives which could increase viscosity as well, for example, honey would probably work nicely (though be expensive).
What's your opinion on allowing additives in water wars? Note that I'm not necessarily advocating for allowing these, just saying that they exist and seem to be safe.
And do you have any other ideas for additives?