How to take care of moist rock as well as aquifers in Dwarf Fortress

A Dwarf Fortress screenshot showing an aquifer, a flooded room, and a Screw Pump.

Image: Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games by means of Polygon

Dwarf Fortress’ aquifers are below ground layers of dirt or rock that generate water. The starting point you’ll encounter them is while attempting to choose a get started place. Finding the perfect embark location in Dwarf Fortress can establish you up for success or (prompt) failing.

In our various other overviews, we informed you to stay clear of aquifers, considering that swamping your citadel typically simplyleads to fun outcomes Avoiding aquifers completely, however, drastically restricts the readily available locations for your citadels.

The great information is that aquifers aren’t also tough to take care of, as long as you recognize what to do. With a little understanding as well as preparation, structure in an aquifer also has advantages– like a safe as well as interior source of fresh water.

In this Dwarf Fortress aquifer overview, we’ll discuss what aquifers are and after that inform you just how to take care of them.

Damp Stone

While your dwarves are excavating right into the planet, they may experience moist dirt or rock. You’ll obtain a sharp in the top left, as well as any kind of excavating work that go across that moist rock will certainly be terminated– suggesting you’ll need to re-designate those blocks for mining. With default setups, your game will certainly likewise immediately stop so you can determine just how to take care of the trouble.

A Dwarf Fortress screenshot of a block of bedrooms with damp stone tiles surrounding some of them.

Damp rock is shown with a water bead while mining.
Image: Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games by means of Polygon

A moist rock sharp simply indicates that there’s water saturating the block your dwarves have actually simply subjected– either there’s water over it (like a fish pond or a river) or it’s an aquifer. Check the block over it to determine which it is.

You’ll have the ability to see where the moist rock lies whenever you open up the Mining food selection (m). A saturated block will certainly have a water droplet symbol over it, yet just when you’re extracting.

Aquifers in Dwarf Fortress

When you subject an aquifer block, it will certainly begin generating water on any kind of open block close by. Aquifers create water orthogonally– to the north, southern, eastern, or west just– from the source block.

Light versus hefty aquifers

The distinction in between light as well as hefty aquifers boils down to just how quick they generate water. Light aquifers create water on a duration throughout in-game weeks as well as months, whereas hefty aquifers create water every in-game min (essentially immediately).

Absorbing water

Beyond creating water, aquifers likewise take in water. Functionally, what that indicates is that an aquifer layer will certainly never ever flooding the layer over it– it will certainly never ever create greater than a 7/7 water deepness. (You can inspect a mathematical step of water deepness by striking f.)

This applies also if you discard water in from above. This indicates that an aquifer will just ever before create water one block deep, also if you dig via numerous degrees of aquifer.

Managing aquifers

Once you subject an aquifer, you have a couple of alternatives for avoiding the inescapable flooding. Two of them are straightforward as well as long-term (structure Walls as well as Smoothing rock) as well as the various other one (structure Screw Pumps) takes a little bit a lot more job as well as is just short-term. Basically, constructing a pump permits you to drain pipes sufficient water to do among the various other services.

Building Walls

Only normally created blocks in an aquifer develop water, so a created block– like a wall surface– is secure. Dig an additional block around whatever you’re extracting via an aquifer as well as change the sides with wall surfaces.

Construction can just occur on blocks with much less than 2/7 water, so you’ll need to fast regarding it. (Remember, you can see just how deep the water is numerically by striking the f trick.) If the water obtains unfathomable, you’ll require to develop a Screw Pump (listed below).


If the aquifer remains in a rock layer– not a sand, clay, loam, or silt layer– you can rather pick to Smooth the wall surfaces (as well as the flooring if you desire) with v. Select Smoothing with m as well as highlight the wall surfaces. Smoothing rock wall surfaces stops them from creating water.

Heads up that smoothing does not work with dirt. On those degrees, you’ll need to stay with constructing wall surfaces.

Screw Pumps

A Water Pump relocates water from a source block, up one degree, and after that 2 blocks onward (you make a decision which instructions when you develop the pump).

Placing a Screw Pump is a little difficult. The source block needs to be listed below the pump, so you require to network out a block to access to water on the degree listed below.

At the front end of the pump, see to it there are wall surfaces– either all-natural or built– obstructing the water from receding.

A screenshot of a Dwarf Fortress Screw Pump with annotations about how Screw Pumps work.

Screw Pumps are a little challenging.
Graphic: Jeffrey Parkin|Sources: Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games by means of Polygon

Once you have your place established, most likely to Build (b) > > Machines/Fluids (m) > > Screw Pump (p) to develop one. Screw Pumps call for a couple of points: one block ( either a wood block from a Carpenter Workshop or a rock block from a Stonemason’s Workshop), one substantial curl ( either a wood one from a Carpenter’s workshop or a steel one from a Metalsmith), as well as a pipeline area (either a wood one from a Carpenter’s workshop or a steel one from a Metalsmith).

Once a pump is constructed, you can transform it on by clicking it as well as inspecting package besideStart Pump Manually (It’s likewise feasible to power a pump with a Windmill or Waterwheel, yet that’s a whole lot even more job.)

Pumps will certainly never ever decrease the source block listed below 1/7 water deepness, however, so the very best usage is to drain pipes the aquifer block( s) enough time to develop a wall surface or smooth the rock (over).

Using aquifers

If you’re all set (as well as prepared) to take care of them, aquifers can be a safe, practical, as well as reasonably secure source of alcohol consumption water for your citadel. Just remove an area in an aquifer degree as well as await it to full of water. Either mark that as your water source or, if you’re really feeling expensive, develop a well over it.


Source: Polygon


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