Why is this a Dry Well?

Why is this well running dry with such a high water table?

Did you upgrade it? The only wells I’ve had run dry were upgraded. I no longer upgrade them and I don’t get the notice anymore.

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Yes, I did upgrade them. Bug?

I think so.

Wells go dry based on their use, not just where they are.

Even a well in a high water table will eventually run low if a lot of villagers are accessing it.

Try surrounding the well with decorative trees. When you’re placing trees they show a surrounding area where they increase ground water. I’m not sure if this actually works, but it is suggested in a tooltip somewhere. I’m also unsure if all tree types have the same impact on groundwater, it would be cool if there was variation though.

Also check to make sure it isn’t getting a penalty for being too close to another well, it looks pretty close to the limit so I can’t tell just by looking at it.

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Hi Zantai, I’ve actually salvaged an upgraded well that kept running dry and replaced it with a regular well and had no further issues. Is it possible that the villagers prefer an upgraded well, and therefore more show up at it to drink from it?

I’m pretty sure what is happening is that when the well isn’t upgraded its output is limited by its refill rate which is lower than the groundwater supply and so it never runs dry. Upgrading it does actually increase the total amount of water produced, but will cause the dry well notification because now output is limited by groundwater rather than refill rate.

So after playing around with it to try work out what is happening I have confirmed that planting trees around the well can increase the “terrain water bonus” sometimes. It seems to maybe depend on the elevation whether planting a tree will or won’t have an effect. Raising or lowering terrain doesn’t seem to effect that though, so maybe that elevation is hard baked when you start a map. There is a seasonal water bonus too, which combines with the ground water bonus though together they cap at 100%. It isn’t clear whether this water bonus is to capacity or replenishment rate. Groundwater bonus feels like it would be capacity, but the seasonal bonus feels more like replenishment rate. They get combined for the final bonus though so possibly it is increasing both? Also when it rains it says there is a 300% bonus to refill rate.

In conclusion, the current numbers displayed are a bit of a mystery when trying to work out what is actually happening. “Bonus” to what? It would be good if it showed how much groundwater was available/max, what the groundwater replenishment rate is, and what the well draw rate is. Maybe someone else will have a better time guessing at the hidden mechanics behind wells.


Is seven tiles in between even enough for the two wells in the picture not to overlap?

I think you need a minimum of 9 to avoid the penalty.


A bit more info would help. I had the same issue, upgraded wells always run dry, but at least in my case, didn’t seem to affect anything and everyone always had plenty of water regardless. I destroyed them and put regular wells back down just because the dry notification bugged me.

My wells were all far enough apart, were well in the blue for water, and had multiple trees planted around them. Yet still ran dry almost immediately after placement. Some that ran dry were even located on the edges of towns in areas I had hardly built out, and were barely in use. And no, they didn’t get used up putting out a fire either.

It is pretty weird when a “Upgrade” is actually a downgrade.


Just delete them and build tier 1, they never run dry. Like others already mentioned, this happens only to tier 2 wells, most likely a bug.

The only potential bug I am noticing is that Tier 1 wells aren’t displaying the low water warning consistently/at all. So if anything, Tier 2 wells are giving you the accurate picture.

Oh dear… in that case maybe a change in the notification level because otherwise it’s just an annoyance as nearly all wells will “complain” from what I can see. Maybe a settings slider that the player can set so that wells warn when a %age capacity is dropped below.

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Try to move the well and keep it at the same place.
If it displays a blue circle, another well in the vicinity should also have a blue circle and that means that they are too close to each other.
In this case, they re-fill at half the speed (if not mistaken).

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Could be that as well, never really paid much attention. But I guess we can agree there is a bug related to the wells.

I plant spruce trees around the wells to make them easy to find and those with trees seem to last longer.

Any good guidelines on how many wells are needed per population? I know it depends on the bonuses, but for a standard well with no + or - modifiers, how many shelters can it support? All my wells are constantly dry when upgraded, but my villagers don’t die of dehydration, so either it’s somehow perrrfectly balanced (unlikely) or they’re walking a long way to the nearest lake to get water. The whole water system is a bit of a mystery to me.

I see 2 wells to close to each other giving you a penalty. If a well is blue when placing it then it’s not good. Move it farther away from the other well until it turns green. I have had a few wells that were in that penalty zone before and they Always run dry.