I've got a fortress that embarked in an area with a brook. The only problem is that the brook is much too far from my fortress to keep my fisherdwarves safe. Are brooks divert-able? What would the safest way to change the path of a brook be?

I've already lost one fort due to water-based fun, and I'd rather not have another. (Amusing Anecdote -- Dwarf Fortress does water pressure really well! Remember that the next time you breach 5 z-levels down from the surface of the ocean!)

  • 3
    I just read an interview with Toady where he describes how the game calculates water pressure. Interesting stuff.
    – sjohnston
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


All you should need to do is channel out the desired path.

If you want to re-route the brook and not simply fork it into two, you have a couple of options.

The easiest is if you're in a climate that freezes. Wait for things to freeze over and you can dig out the ice like any stone and erect walls to block the path of the water.

If your climate doesn't get chilly enough for that, I've heard with enough operating pumps you can remove water from a brook faster than it is naturally replaced. This should allow you to run the brook dry long enough for you to again build a wall blocking the water's original path.

Then it should simply be a matter of digging out the path you want the brook to take all the way past your fortress and back to the original exit.

One note: brooks naturally have a kind of layer over top which makes it possible for your dwarves to walk over it. Your diverted brook will not have this layer and dwarves will not be able to walk on it. So keep that in mind: you may need bridges.

  • It sounds like he doesn't want to stop the old as much as channel the new, so this answer should be sufficient.
    – tzenes
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 5:39
  • So I just tested this, and you don't have to stop the old one by any means. I'm not sure how Toady actually calculates the generation of new water in the stream, but there was sufficient flow to allow me to branch without any problems. It is worth noting that you shouldn't connect until the very end so you don't get bothered by Carp.
    – tzenes
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 6:28
  • Bridges or one-tile-wide floor paths as the only possible access methods into your fortress are good practice anyway -- make sure to link up the bridges to a lever and build traps on every accessible square of the floors to give intruders that proper welcome feeling. For extra credit, build upright spike traps in the moat to either side of the path as courtesy landing areas for goblins quick enough to dodge the original trap... Commented Mar 28, 2012 at 7:26

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