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Water is very important to any civilization and can be found in many forms.

Fresh water[]

Fresh water is very important for your growth and you should always try to secure access to some for your cities. A city is considered to have access to fresh water if it is settled next to it. Mousing over a tile with tooltips enabled will tell you if it has fresh water.

Fresh water allows you to do the following:

Traversing water[]

Many water tiles can only be traversed by ships or embarked units.

Sources of water[]

Name Type Fresh water Ground movement
Coast Coast Terrain No No
Ocean Ocean Terrain No No
Lakes Lakes Terrain Yes No
Oasis Oasis Feature Yes Yes
Rivers Rivers Feature Yes Yes*

* Traversing a river usually costs all remaining movement points, unless a bridge is present.