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This article is about an older version of DF.

Dwarves quenching thirst.

Dwarves, given time, will eventually get thirsty, as indicated by a blue down arrow blinking over the thirsty dwarf. A thirsty dwarf prefers to drink booze. If none is available, they will go to the nearest water source and drink. This is usually a well inside your fortress, but they will drink from a river or brook if there are no wells nearby, and have been observed to drink from murky pools if there are no other sources of water. A dwarf can live on water indefinitely if there is no booze to be had, but will get unhappy thoughts from doing so - dwarves are highly dependent on alcohol.

A heavily wounded dwarf (whose icon flashes a red cross)[Verify], on the other hand, will not drink booze, even if they are capable of getting themselves to it. They instead require other dwarves to bring them water in buckets.

Note: if you're low on booze but not completely out yet, but find that dwarves are already getting thirsty, check that the remaining stocks are actually in barrels and not in flasks being carried around. You may find that your civilian dwarves are suffering because your supplies are all in the hands of the oppressive dictators military.