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I am playing in a region where pools freeze up during the winter.

After freezing over I receive a lot of messages telling me that the task give water has been cancelled because the water source is no longer available. What are the exact consequences of not having a water source during a season?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Depending on how well you've prepared, the consequences can vary from irksome to impeding to potentially fatal:

  • Without a source of clean water, dwarves aren't able to wash themselves. This is irksome at best, as it doesn't even generate unhappy thoughts not to be able to wash, but you don't get the happy thoughts of having washed recently either.
  • It gets a little more problematic when you have injured dorfs with wounds that need cleaning before suturing up; infections can be nasty and fatal to a dorf.
  • Finally, if you don't already have either a good stockpile of booze laid in or a working production cycle of seed->plant->booze->seeds that's putting out a steady supply of same, dorfs can in fact die of thirst during the winter days if there isn't even potable water to fall back on.

I highly recommend you make digging your first well a priority, as it spruces up that big main communal dining/meeting room nicely - and eating in a legendary dining room makes for big smiles.

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Thanks, I'll get started on that well right away! – Xenox Nov 20 '11 at 10:33
NP. My usual tactic in dF2010 is to dig an exploratory 3x3 shaft straight down to find the first cavern, then digging a 2x1 shaft that opens up to the inevitable underground lake, channeling out the tile above that and setting up the big dining room around the well. Make sure you smooth all the walls on each level of the shaft before you channel out the floor, it'll look tidier. – Shadur Nov 20 '11 at 10:38

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