Desperate Faith Based Decision Judgment

by Hal Mooz 8. March 2014 20:46

California farmers hire dowsers to find water

With California in the grips of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches. Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden "divining rods" that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals hidden deep underground.

 

 While both state and federal water scientists disapprove of dowsing, California "witchers" are busy as farmers seek to drill more groundwater wells due to the state's record drought that persists despite recent rain. "It's kind of bizarre. Scientists don't believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do," said Marc Mondavi, a vineyard owner whose family has been growing grapes and making wine since the mid-20th century in the Napa Valley.

 

While popular, scientists say dowsers are often just lucky, looking for water in places where it's already known to likely exist.

"There's no scientific basis to dowsing. If you want to go to a palm reader or a mentalist, then you're the same person who's going to go out and hire a dowser," said Tom Ballard, a hydrogeologist with Taber Consultants, a geological engineering firm based in West Sacramento. "The success is really an illusion. In most places you're going to be able to drill and find some water," he said.

Still, the consistent interest in water witches nationwide even spurred The U.S. Geological Survey to officially weigh in on the fairly harmless practice. Dowsing has not held up well under scientific scrutiny, the USGS said, adding that dowsers are often successful in areas where groundwater is abundant.

 

"The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report. Christopher Bonds, senior engineering geologist for the state Department of Water Resources, said his agency does not advocate using witchers.

 

 "DWR is an advocate for having qualified and licensed water professionals locate groundwater resources using established scientific methods," Bonds said in an email.

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20140302/47122228-a42c-4b4e-a4b1-21d75e927a31

 

 

 

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Engineer, Project Manager, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer, Lecturer, Thought Leader, Consultant

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