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Farmers using dowsers to tackle drought

Posted on Wednesday, 5 March, 2014 | Comment icon 93 comments

A dowser using a hazel twig to find water. Image Credit: Imperial War Museum
Californian farmers are turning to the metaphysical to help locate water sources in the absence of rain.
The controversial practice of dowsing has long been considered by some to be an effective way to discover underground sources of water or minerals. Using nothing but a pair of copper rods or wooden sticks a dowser can theoretically pinpoint where water might be found by 'feeling' for its location.

Several farms and vineyards including Bronco Wine, one of the largest wine-makers in the United States, have been using dowsers to help them find hidden sources of water during the recent dry season.

"I've used witchers for probably the last 15 to 20 years," said Bronco Wine co-owner John Franzia. "Seems like the witchers do the better job than the guys with all the electrical equipment. I believe in them."

Not everyone is convinced that dowsing is an effective or reliable technique however. Many scientists, including those at the US Geological Survey, believe that there is little evidence to support the idea that dowsing actually works.

"The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss," the agency wrote in a report.

Source: Washington Post | Comments (93)

Tags: Water, Dowsing, Drought

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #84 Posted by Peter B on 10 March, 2014, 11:01
Well, dismiss Randi if you will. How about testing dowsers against each other? Invite a group of dowsers to examine a field one at a time. Choose a result for them to provide - for example, the best two locations to drill for water, or the location of underground watercourses. And, assuming they haven't colluded and don't know the location they'll be dowsing, see if they come up with the same results. If they did that would be impressive. Ideally it would be good to know beforehand where the best place was to drill for water by the brute force method like drilling every 10 metres... [More]
Comment icon #85 Posted by 6.6.6 on 14 March, 2014, 12:41
Watch "Derren in the desert with dowsing rods - Derren B…" on YouTube Derren in the desert with dowsing rods - Derren B…:
Comment icon #86 Posted by Calibeliever on 14 March, 2014, 14:49
I think Brown is briiliant. The above video is, of course, not an example of dowsing. It is an example of expert manipulation through suggestion. If he hadn't been talking that man would have wandered for hours out there.
Comment icon #87 Posted by 6.6.6 on 14 March, 2014, 15:03
He He is quite fascinating! Have you seen the clip of him debunking the clairvoyants?
Comment icon #88 Posted by Mike D boy on 20 March, 2014, 0:28
The impact of California's drought will cost more in our wallets by a predicted 3.5 percent rise in food prices this year. Seriousness of the drought is going to hurt both farmers and consumers in the long run. Farmers protested against the state government and EPA to reduce water supply regulations, but nothing gets done.
Comment icon #89 Posted by Br Cornelius on 20 March, 2014, 7:55
It is not sensible to allow the farmers to drain all of the natural water sources and kill those habitats. This is a form of ecocide. The EPA has a duty to ensure that farmers behave sustainably - so they are just performing their mandate. The problem of Californian drought is endemic to California, to be so heavily dependent on one area for so much of your national food supply is a failure of strategic planning and leaves you open to famine. Droughts in California can last for decades. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #90 Posted by highdesert50 on 2 April, 2014, 11:38
Although there is debate even in scientific communities (e.g. Enright vs Betz) much of the research regarding dowsing has found the process to be largely attributable to chance effects. Problems with research arise when considering baselines such as taking into account the ability to interpret the landscape for signs of water (e.g. Zusne and Jones, 1989).
Comment icon #91 Posted by regeneratia on 5 October, 2014, 0:39
I dowse. Have read about three books on it. I use copper rods, the pendulum and sometimes twigs. When i had to have shoulder surg., I dowsed for a place in my yard to sit where it would enhance my healting. It works. I healed quite rapidly with very little pain, probably partially due to just remeditating recovery and making things around the house to help with positioning, buying clothes that would make recovery easy and using xtra strength ben gay with a heated rice bag, which killed pain almost instantly. And then taking nutritional supplements. But I did sit in the dowsed spot for mere min... [More]
Comment icon #92 Posted by Merc14 on 5 October, 2014, 2:03
Living on a river seems to help find water underground. How are the chemtrails going? Have you been spraying vinegar regularly?

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