How to Deal with Aquifers in Dwarf Fortress

Greetings, dear readers! Are you struggling with aquifers in Dwarf Fortress? Fear not, for in this article we will discuss how to deal with this pesky issue.

What is an Aquifer?

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s first understand what an aquifer is. In Dwarf Fortress, an aquifer is a layer of underground water that can make digging difficult. When miners dig into an aquifer, it can flood their tunnels, making it impossible to continue building.

Identifying an Aquifer

The first step in dealing with an aquifer is to identify its location. Aquifers are usually found in areas with moist soil or near bodies of water such as rivers or lakes. You can use the “geological map” feature in Dwarf Fortress to identify where the aquifers are located.

Dealing with Aquifers

Now that you know where the aquifer is, it’s time to deal with it. Here are some ways to tackle the issue:

1. Dig around the Aquifer

One way to avoid flooding caused by an aquifer is to dig around it. You can use the Dwarf Fortress tool “channel” to dig around the aquifer and create a dry area for your fortress. Keep in mind that this method requires a lot of digging, so it may take some time.

2. Pump Water Out

If the aquifer has already flooded your tunnels, you can use pumps to extract the water. Build a pump and a water wheel, then connect them to power the pump. Place the pump in the center of the flooded area and start pumping the water out.

3. Build Floodgates

Another way to contain the flooding is to build floodgates. Floodgates are doors that can be opened or closed to control the flow of water. You can use the floodgates to contain the water and prevent it from flooding your tunnels.

4. Use Magma to Dry Up the Aquifer

This method is not for the faint of heart. If you have access to magma, you can use it to dry up the aquifer. Dig a channel to the magma, then breach the aquifer. The magma will heat up the water and turn it into steam, which will evaporate. However, this method can be dangerous if not done correctly, as it can cause explosions or cave-ins.

5. Use Soil to Create a Barrier

If you don’t want to dig around the aquifer, you can create a barrier with soil. Dig a trench around the aquifer and fill it with soil. This will prevent the water from flooding your tunnels.


– Always check the geological map to identify the location of the aquifer. – Be patient when digging around the aquifer, as it can take some time. – Use floodgates to control the flow of water. – Always have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.


Dealing with aquifers in Dwarf Fortress can be a challenging task, but it’s not impossible. By following these methods, you can prevent flooding and continue building your fortress. Remember to always be cautious and have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. Happy digging, and see you in the next article!