As a water surveyor in California, we often get compared to “water witchers.” If you don’t know what a water witcher or a “dowser” is, they are people who are supposedly able to find water by an ancient process of using a forked tree branch to sense energy fields beneath the ground, and thus can show you where water reservoirs are located. Supposedly, this technique requires no specialized equipment, only that the person doing the witching be “in tune” with the divining rod. If they hold on too tightly, nothing will happen. But if they clear their mind, and allow themselves to intuitively connect with the process, they say it can work.
You may be surprised to know that water witchers aren’t just a California thing. However, a little research shows this phenomenon is seen everywhere, all over the country—all over the world, in fact.
So, why do so many people think that water witching works? How effective is it in reality, and how does it compare to well water surveying?
Why do so many people think water witching works?
Well, it must be effective some of the time, or else it wouldn’t have lasted as long as it has! We know it’s been around at least since the 15th century. But honestly, most people don’t believe it works; they just turned to it because the continuing drought in California makes the battle to find water a constant struggle for farmers.
How effective is it?
While supposedly many people believe it is almost as effective as scientific surveying, all research shows that it is basically as effective as just guessing. We often hear stories of water witching working; however, we’ve never seen it ourselves. Water witchers say that if they can just keep the perfect mindset—a relaxed, focused, meditative mindset—that the field of the water will tug the point of the stick down toward the earth as they move around. We’re really skeptical of any process that only works for some “gifted” people.
How does it compare to what we do?
At National Groundwater Surveyor Inc., we use a machine that records the shockwaves of a controlled charge we set off in the ground. Reading these shock waves, the machine can distinguish between areas of solid rock, in areas where there is water, down to depths of 1,500 feet. Anyone who learns the machine can do this correctly every single time; all it requires is knowledge, not special magical powers.
Contact a water surveyor in California
Don’t get us wrong—we don’t get offended that people compare us to water witchers. In many ways, we are carrying on their legacy—we just use different tools, and take a more scientific approach. And to anyone truly gifted at the art, forgive us for our tongue-in-cheek skepticism. We only hope to warn people against trusting that just anyone with a divining rod will be able to find them water, and to make the point that you can always trust processes that can be explained more than ones that cannot. Our process doesn’t rely on any unseen or incomprehensible magical forces. What we do is pure science. And that’s what sets a water surveyor in California apart from a water witcher.
From single family home sites to large agricultural wells, call National Groundwater Surveyor at 800-980-7429.
We also provide Groundwater Surveys in Nevada and Oregon!