One of the most famous keys to life as we know it is water. Not only is it necessary for the functioning of all life, it also allows for thriving undersea ecosystems. Your planet's sea level is measured in centimeters above the planet's lowest point: as it rises, you'll see it gradually filling in the lower-elevation regions across the world.
A city or outpost that falls below the water level of a planet's oceans will be destroyed and its population lost. Before selecting a site to build, it is important to check the water summary tab for the goal amount. The water summary is measured in centimeters, while the colony (now city)/outpost placement map shows that spot's elevation in kilometres (km) or meters (m) above the current sea level. An easy conversion to remember is that every 100 cm is a meter of water and 100K cm of water (1000 meters of water) is equal to 1 km (kilometer) of water.
At 0 Pa Pressure, the water interface is blocked and you are told surface water requires at least 600 pascals of pressure. However, water may still exist as ice or vapor, and is still tracked on that interface (you may have to turn up your phone's brightness to see it). If the pressure is between 1 and 600, the interface is not blocked, but surface water cannot accumulate.
At temperatures below freezing, any existing water will transfer to "Frozen in Ice". Above freezing, ice (solid water) will melt into water and raise the sea level. At temperatures above the boiling point, water will evaporate to being "Vapor in Atmosphere". If temperatures drop below boiling, water vapor (gas) will precipitate and raise the sea level. At exactly 300,000 mK, the water is fully liquid.
|Water state||Temperature range (mK)|
The Global Warming effect increases the water level if some is ice, and decreases water if some is already vapor. The Global Cooling effect does the opposite. A FLOODING RISK is given when the water will actually flood the entire world, but it doesn't because some is vapor or ice. If you click on it, you will get a message explaining about it.
If pressure rises above 600, and the temperature is within the liquid range (200.5 to 399.5K), all ice or vapor will turn into liquid water instantly which can completely destroy every outpost and city you have built before anything can be done. This is a possible occurrence that could get a planet flooded with nothing you can do, as if there is enough water vapor/ice the whole planet could be flooded and become an ocean planet, and you would be unable to place any cities or outposts.
This is only salvageable if you have constructed a satellite: Soletta can quickly adjust temperatures to be higher than the boiling point or lower than the melting point to turn the water into vapor and ice again. Once launched, it is immune to flooding and does not require the Spaceport to function. Note however that liquid water can still exist, even if the planet as a whole is at a temperature slightly higher or lower than its range.
It may not be completely flooded and there may be some tiny islands just above sea level, but actually managing to click on their small areas in the found new city interface can be a real challenge. The small size of the island does not limit the city size, as the number of building spaces available are only determined by population. However, you can still add more water (particularly unintentionally Hab Dome) which may quickly drown what little land is left.
Habitability for plants and microbes to grow on a planet's surface requires a sea level ranging from 25% to 175% of the ideal sea level. Habitability for animals and humans outside of a Habitation building is 50% to 150% of the ideal sea level.
You cannot build cities or outposts underwater (or on water for that matter). You can build cities on ice, as long as the ground beneath the ice is above the liquid water sea level. Cities or outposts are not affected even if they were original built on dry land and later covered by ice sheets; only the liquid water sea level beneath is capable of flooding and destroying them when it becomes too high. Remember ice tends to form on higher elevation (as well as tending towards the poles); if your world is largely covered in ice but some areas are dry land, it may be tempting but it may actually be a bad idea to build there, since those would tend to be some of the lowest lying areas that would be flooded when the ice melts. Instead, stick to the elevation map and build on the highest points. Your cities on those ice-covered high areas would be fine even when the ice melts out under them.
The in game stats screen is incapable of displaying both ice and vapor. It can only display ice+water, or water+vapor.
Note that Ruaumoko has an alien artifact that abruptly increases the sea level. Try setting up Ice Launchers and upgrading them to Level X to counteract the alien artifact. It fires every 30 real life (Earth) minutes. Make sure your water levels are decreasing by at lease 400,000 cm every hour.
- Main Article: Flooding
If your world is full of water with no land left, the only way to salvage this is if you have the Soletta satellite. With it, you can freeze or vaporize the water, thus giving you land to build. After you drain some of the water, you can set it back to its original temp before it flooded.
For draining the water, it is best to put the temperature by the Soletta to the possible lowest setting and drain some of the water, and after that you put your planet back into the original temp it had.
Buildings that get rid of water also works on ice or vapor. Any building that adds water would see the water turn into whatever the planet's conditions make it into.
|Electrolysis Plant||-Water, +Oxygen|
|Ice Launcher||-Water, -Pressure, +Credits|
|Aquifer Network||+Water, +Pressure|
|Comet Sling||+Water, -Biomass (Biomass only) -Temperature (Biospheres only), +Credits|
|Orbital Mirror||+Temperature, -Water, -Biomass (Biomass only), - Oxygen (Biospheres only)|
|Hydrogen Processor||-Pressure, +Temperature, +Water|
|Hydro Generator||-Oxygen, +Water|
|Grass Farm||+Biomass, -Water|
|Forest Stand||+Biomass, +Oxygen, -Water|
|Reef Institute||+Aquatic Species, +Water, +Population|
|Zoological Society||+Terrestrial Species, +Pressure, -Water|
|Hab Dome||+Habitats, +Water, +Biomass (Biomass only), +Oxygen (Biospheres only)|
- The 600 pascal pressure requirement is not arbitrary but a real-life limitation due to physics. Below that point (611.657 pascal to be exact), liquid water cannot exist as heating ordinary ice (solid) causes it to directly sublime into vapor (gas), and vice versa because liquid water is held by pressure, so without pressure, water becomes vapor (gas) because nothing is holding it together.