Rhabdomancy... or Dowsing for Water...AKA water witching. The term comes from the ancient Greek: rhabdos, which means stick or rod, and "mancy"which means communication or divination

Does it work? most doubt it! 

Well, I got me some edjumacashun this morning. This new prepper property we bought is just beyond the extent of the city water lines. It has no well. The prior owner, who is now deceased, was supplied with water by her sister, who lives a quarter of a mile away, through a thin plastic agricultural waterline that was only buried six inches deep in some places along its route.  They have dug it up and repaired it often over the years. While the sister is willing to provide us water, with a shared well contract, we decided that we are better off being self-sufficient. Hmmm... what are my options?

I calculated that rainwater harvesting in this region would provide about 1500 gallons per month (14 inches of rain per year). While that may supply a water-frugal family, it isn’t enough for gardening, orchards and livestock. Besides, the rains are not evenly spread throughout the year and it wouldn’t be safe to drink without serious treatment (birds shitting on the roof). Hmmm… need more and better water. I began researching other options.

I have an old friend who is a geologist with the state. He is checking the maps for me and will suggest an ideal location for my well. I told him about a water finding service that uses underground sonar to measure the density of rock and water content underground. For a mere $2000, they will come out and find water. My friend said "no need to hire them." He doesn’t trust their technology, and whatever I do, "stay away from those water-witches. They are nothing but charlatans!"

I called several well drillers and asked for bids. The first one bid $9000 (cough, gag, choke, cough) He did not guarantee finding good water.  The next gave me a quote of $5500 to drill (gag, cough) and I would install of all the pump equipment. The third guy, Bill, came out today. His grey hair and beard, bronze skin, and bone-crushing handshake made me like him instantly—and that is when my learning began. A little later he quoted me a price of $2700 to drill the well. I cover the costs of running electricity, the water line, and the other plumbing myself.

I showed Bill where the septic system leach-field was, cause it is not a good idea to drill there (that water tastes icky) and we walked to the opposite corner of the two acre parcel. Along the way, we stopped at a mesquite tree where Bill cut off a small branch with some handy pruning shears he had in his back pocket. He trimmed it down into a pretty little Y shape. (Yes, you know where this is headed…)

He then held the stick by the branches of the Y pinched between his thumbs and palms (at the end of his lifelines), palms up, wrapped his fingers around next, and then curled his wrists upwards causing the stem of the Y to point upwards, and started walking slowly across the sandy field, chanting an ancient rhyme with his eyes closed. (Actually, I am kidding about the chant and closed eyes)

Then it happened!

The stick went “zoink,” twisting downward in his hands with the stem purportedly pointing at the water underground.

“I didn’t do that.” Bill said. He walked over the same spot from the other direction and it went “zoink” again. We walked around a bit more, finding a couple more “hits,” which my wife and I promptly marked with piles of stones. As we walked around, he told me a story about how an old woman taught him this method. He had drilled 4 holes on one property—all dry. The woman came over from next door, did her magic, and said” Drill here” The spot was a mere 18 feet from his last hole. They drilled. Sixty feet down they hit good water. He put a high powered pump on it to clean it out and 100 gallons per minute flowed out consistently. He concluded (from his drill material) that she had found an depression in a layer of clay that collected underground water in that area. Bill was a believer.

Then I asked if I could try it. Bill showed me how to hold the stick. He explained the need to walk north and south in this area to cut across the direction of the underground flows. I started walking and sure enough the stick went “zoink.” I started chuckling. That was just weird. I tried it again, being oh so very careful not to inadvertently move the stick on my own. “Zoink!” I laughed again. That is really, really weird. My wife tried it next, but it wouldn’t do it for her. She thinks she held the stick wrong. I think she is not a witch.

I am very curious now to know what quality of water, if any, we find down there. Does the stick make a difference? Bill didn’t seem too particular. The direction you walk? Prayer? In short, I’ll do some empirical testing. Is this witching method actually scientific? Is it spiritual? Is it evil—even without incantations and animal sacrifices? Does a mysterious ability to find life-giving water come from the God or the devil? Logic would suggest that a good thing comes from a good spiritual place. Science does not know everything—a fact which scientists too often are loathe to admit. Whatever it is, it sure was weird. Science has not been able to verify any greater success rate than statistical chance would indicate. But scientists can sure be irritating when instead of simply stating their statistical results, they ridicule and cast aspersions upon the “believers”--kind of like how Keynesian economists treat goldbugs.

Did I mention that it was really weird when that stick moved on its own?

But seriously, I thought my practical research into securing a good supply of water might be handy for others. No matter what we do, it is going to cost something--hopefully, not my soul.

A pump, pressure tank and all associated parts currently cost about $500-600, new for high quality stuff.

Professional Well System: Total set up cost: $5-9000.
I was surprised at the bids I received (except Bill’s). Expensive, hit or miss success in the western US. You have to pay the driller whether you find good water or not. State permits required to drill. Only licensed drillers can get a permit. Electricity required. I am sure Bill will find some water, but it may be so mineralized that it is not fit for drinking or running through plumbing fixtures in the home—just gardens and livestock.

Self drilling: Total set up cost: $1000.
In this state, you better be somewhat sneaky about it. We found a used “mud pump” for sale for $500 that would supply wonderful water pressure to drill wells much more quickly. You can also rent these by the day—figure all day or two to drill down 30-60 feet. The rest of the casing materials needed would run a couple of hundred. Electricity optional—a hand pump or windmill would work to get the water into storage—just like grandma and grandpa used to do! If you already have water, you can use a couple of hoses like this guy. A mud pump will provide good pressure through a 1.5 inch line and can handle sand & debris that would damage a regular pump. You have seen these at construction sites where they are pumping rainwater out of a hole or trench to continue underground work. The rest of the materials needed would run a couple of hundred.

Hauling water: Total set up cost: $3000.
Many people here in the desert buy their water and haul it in a trailer and pump it into a tank at their home. It’s very cheap, but then you have to do the hauling every 2-3 weeks, or hire someone deliver water in a big tanker truck (haulers charge more than a water bill from the local water company.). I like that plan due to the guarantee of having good water. I’ll have it all set up in a day. And we’ll still harvest the rain for gardens and animals. The problem is that the water supplier could shut me off in a disaster—not self-sufficient. But I need the storage and pump equipment no matter what route I take.

Trailers can be bought in these parts for as little as $1000. Our water company charges $3.50 per thousand gallons. The water is good for drinking.  A family of four with lavish American water use will consume at least 4000 gallons. Conservation helps greatly. Storage tanks cost about a dollar per gallon. They can be above or below ground. My uncle says a herd of cattle can drink one of these dry in a day. Not ideal if you run livestock.

Rain harvesting: Total set up cost: $2000.
You need a storage tank, pump and all other water equipment. For gardening or live stock, no filter needed. But if you want to drink rainwater, you better pay for a good filter and use a chlorination system.

City Water: We all know how this works. You get a bill each month.

The bottom line for me is self-sufficiency. I plan to harvest the rainwater, and drill the well using the licensed driller. I will install a solar electric system to run the pump. I may self-drill an un-permitted second well just for fun. The rainwater will go for the garden, chickens, & perhaps livestock. I’ll filter what comes out of the well and we’ll use a Berkey system in the house for drinking water.

I am not a wealthy man. Whether or not this economy totally collapses and I need to be self-sufficient for survival is to be seen. But either way, I do not expect social security to provide my retirement. My employer retirement account will probably get MYRA’d into T-bills, providing just a trickle of income—or nothing. So my PMs will pay for my home, my water, my solar electric system and I’ll do my best to survive after I can no longer work in my industry. This system will eventually eliminate my water and electricity bills. Currently, those run about $200 per month--$2400 per year. It will pay for itself in four years, and right now, I can afford to install everything. After that, I have free water and electricity for life, with some maintenance costs along the way. I’ll have a paid off home. Taxes will have to be paid, but I think I can set aside enough gold to cover property taxes for life. Right now, it is an ounce per year, but hopefully that will change soon.

I liquidated a chunk of my stack and bought this particular property because it cost only 30% of its current realistic market value. I have not ruled out reselling or renting it after the renovation and improvements are complete, then purchasing a better property with profits (or rental income).

My advice? Choose your land and long-term property carefully. Consider all costs. If there is already a good septic system and productive well in place, with good water available, that is a huge advantage. And if you don’t have a well on the property yet, find a good Y shaped stick from the tree, use the method above, and start witching!

But I don’t know everything, and much of what I think I know is flawed. So flame away, straighten me out, augment, or refute. I hope all can take away something useful from this discussion.

And how in tarnation does rhabdomancy relate to precious metals? Well (pun intended), they say you can find gold using this method also.



Some Sorcerers do boast they have a Rod,
Gather'd with Vowes and Sacrifice,

And (borne about) will strangely nod
To hidden Treasure where it lies;

Mankind is (sure) that Rod divine,
For to the Wealthiest (ever) they incline.

Samuel Sheppard, 1651


silver66's picture


Had a sleep in this morning, just got up. Fired up the computer and grabbed a cup of Joe. Lo and behold I am Frist.The sun is shining here, the birds are singing. This monday is starting off awesome. I think I will buy a lottery ticket on the way into the office (not)


gold slut's picture

Great article, thanks!

Not sure about the devining thing though, but I have noticed that unexpected bills always seem to fall on my door mat when ever I have any spare cash at the end of the month, weird that!

Edit: Ooops, first!

Pining 4 the Fjords's picture

That's awesome, Doc!

Please let us know what you get when you drill, I will be very interested to see if that location works out!  I am especially fascinated that you actually felt the tug or pull when you tried it yourself...  that WOULD be strange to experience!   Clearly, there is something going on with that method, otherwise you would have felt nothing.

If you hit good water, you may have stumbled on a great way to augment your income-  rent out your talents as a water witch!

Kismet's picture

Nice job Doc.

I witnessed witching a few years ago here in CA. After watching the old gentleman "find water" a number of times, I asked him what he felt when the stick spun. He said he didn't feel anything, but did comment that not everyone could witch. I tried but no joy. However, my wife had the same water finding results as he did ... love that woman!

Marchas45's picture


Sitting in the VA waiting for my head scan to take place. Glad your chipper. Lol

sengfarmer's picture

well witching

We had several well witchers in this neck of the woods when I was a lad, I got to watch two different ones witch a well for the neighbor, they both came up with the same spot. The second guy also gave the distance to water, his witching stick started bobbing and he counted the bobs for the feet to water.

4 oz's picture

Panda Question~~~

So one of my LCS has a bunch of Panda's and he wants $24 for 'em. Thinking to pick up 4 as per my 4oz a week minimum stacking system ....but some how have it in my mind that the is a counterfeit problem with Panda's...anyone have any insights??

2014 1 oz Silver Chinese Panda (In Capsule)

Marchas45's picture

@Dr. J

Man them drillers are expensive. Maine is around $4000 for everything. Sure would love to try the dousing stick problem is, no matter where you drill, you'll hit water. Lol

silver66's picture


Now Marchas45 we know that gold bugs don't have anything but crazy thoughts in their heads, not sure why you would need a head scan. My wife regularily tells me there is nothing in mine.

Hope the nurses are young and pretty and the Dr's efficient.


Libero's picture

Dr. Jerome -following your adventures

Let us know the outcome of the drill at the place the divining rod designated.  Now I have heard (my grandfather told me) there is such a method for locating large undiscovered gold deposits....wink

boomer sooner's picture

Great story!

Thanks Dr J
"Witching"works. I have a funny story to tell about, later. Off to work.
Hope everything goes well Charlie!

ArtL's picture

water witching = hypnosis in action

Your wife apparently is less hypnotizable than you.

I'd make a deal for sharing the water from your neighbor, and paying them something equivalent to what it might cost you the price of drilling and power for running the pump. Perhaps install solar panels and use that power to pump the water, and charge the neighbor something to defray the cost of using the well water and maintenance.

perhaps the neighbor will sell her land in the future, with all that silver you have you may be able to buy that land, and you don't need the second well.

Cooperation is generally a more successful strategy, than total DIY.

Rainforest's picture


Doc, locating water is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dowsing. dowsing can be used to locate remotely, to answer questions, to heal etc. there are many levels of dowsing and not everyone can dowse nor achieve the highest levels. if you'd like to pursue it further than a forked stick looking for water get yourself a good book and a pendulum. within very little time you should be able to have someone put a map upside down on a table while you're in another room then come in and locate your position on it. good luck!


H8Fiat's picture

Loved the piece

Had to laugh when reading this. I looked out my office window one time to see a water district person using this technique to fine a water line in the street. The well at the place I'm building is 300 ft but at 24 gpm I'm happy. I'm gonna need a bigger stick.


GOLDDOC's picture


I had a similar experience approx. 25 years ago when building my house in the country side. The well driller had 2 metal rods approx. 18 inches long with one end on each rod bent at 90 degrees. The bent end was about 2 inches long and inserted into a porcelain insulator (the insulator look like those from old nob and tube electrical systems in homes). The wires were free to move in the insulators. He held the insulators making sure not to touch the wires. With the insulators in each hand he walked across the property marking the ground each time the wires crossed each other. He said their was a electromagnetic force field from crevices filled with water in the earths crust. He then proceeded to tell me there was not a lot on water on the property close to the surface. He estimated the well depth at approx. 400 feet. The actual well hit water at 406 feet. Made me a believer.

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Fannie And Freddie Are Headed For Another Bailout

Taxpayers pumped over $200 billion in to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after the financial collapse of 2008.

While the Obama Government used taxpayer subsidized loans to move a large quantities of foreclosed housing inventory from the FNM/FRE and in to big investment funds, FNM/FRE were busy ballooning their mortgage holdings – again.

Now the Inspector General’s Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued a warning that both FNM/FRE are headed for another bailout, which is no surprise to me: “Future profitability is far from assured,” Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General said in a report, pointing out that the firms could again chalk up losses on their derivatives portfolios, similar to those they reported in the fourth quarter. “This increases the likelihood of additional Treasury investment,” the report stated. - Reuters (LINK)

Similar to when Fannie was plugged full of derivatives under former CEO Franklin Raines – who by the way had no clue how catastrophic the situation was and should be in jail but instead received a $100 million “you’re fired” severance agreement – the Government has once again looked the other way while Wall Street unloaded another avalanche of derivatives onto FNM/FRE. Once again the Taxpayers will pay for this.

This is not a ‘warning” – this is a “get ready here it comes” statement. The fact is that most of FNM/FRE’s “profitablity” has been driven by the same fraudulent “mark to model” accounting that has generated most the big bank profits since 2009. fragile-by-design And the Government used this fraudulent accounting to suck money out of FNM/FRE. The “improved” balance sheet has enabled both FNM/FRE to issue debt to investors.

The money raised has been used reload their mortgage holdings and for dividend “payback” payments to the Treasury. FNM’s CEO warned of the possibility of another bailout in February, after announcing FNM’s smallest dividend payment to the Treasury in more than four years. This is not a warning – it’s an inevitability. The housing market is set to re-collapse, which will blow-up both Fannie and Freddie – once again.


JY896's picture

Great to see you making progress on the homestead, Dr. J

I have very few doubts as to the theoretical possibility of dowsing/divining. About 150 years ago,
some guy made a precision instrument involving small pieces of suspended platinum for validating Newton's theory of gravity, and was able to measure very minute differences in gravitational forces acting on objects at the surface:


It was a scientific curiosity, until people figured out it could be used for prospecting oil/gas...

Dowsing rods are in wide use around the world, I doubt it would be merely an ancient mass hysteria.

Bohemian's picture


You're right... Actually, we had even a military units specialized in dowsing/divining, clairvoyance and all sorts of psi (para-psychology), and the military even published a magazine 100+ years ago. These units had good results, or rather - better than good. They were used by the Czechoslovak army in the war with your homeland, Hungary ;-) and by the Czechoslovak foreign legions in Russia, fighting the Bolshevik Red Army. This scan is from the book Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain (and The Iron Curtain Lifted), published in Canada/USA in 1971 (plus later editions), written by Ostrander and Schroeder. As I can tell, most of it is true; by this I mean that I was familiar with those names and the research described in this book before I was able to read this book in the West.

"We also used dowsers in World War I to help us locate traps, weapons, drinking water, and to track the enemy precisely. Of course, psi was also used by the partisans in Czechoslovakia during the last war... We used clairvoyance to great advantage in the campaign against the Hungarians in 1919. We'd put soldiers with psi ability into a trance and they'd tell us the exact position of the Hungarian army, help us locate soldiers we'd lost, and so on. I'll never forget one occasion when the psychic said, "I see the Hungarians right now! There's about a hundred and fifty of them. They're bathing in a river and poorly guarded.' He gave us the exact location. We set out. Fifty of us captured a whole unit of a hundred and fifty "nude" Hungarians!" ;-)))

Should we take it as 100% correct account? Well, there are so many references to so many "stories" and positive tests, that even if 10% is correct, it is more than enough, passing the 3SD test (3 standard deviations).

Dr Jerome's picture

Freddie, Fannie, & sticks

I wish I could get a "$100 million 'you’re fired' severance agreement" after I screw up half the economy. I have always felt that sociopaths are very intelligent (shrewd) when it comes to short-term decisions and manipulations, but fail to see the bigger picture and often saw off the branch they are sitting on. They stole a ton of money with the housing bubble, got bailed out and now they are doing it again--with the same predictable results. Regulators and politicians are either in on the scheme, bought off, scared, or impotent.

The bright side is that I may be able to sell my mid-west real estate (that has been underwater) as they re-inflate this bubble. This long delay in the inevitable reset really has been a blessing for my family and i want to make the most of this extra time. We scrambled to get prepared in 2011 after we realized the stakes. these past four years have provided time to think things through and more fully prepare in a way that ensures long-term prosperity--whether the landing is a hard one or a softer one.

On the dowsing, I sensed that "somehow" the stick Bill used, coming from a tree about 50 yards from the drill site, made a difference. It was green and supple, filled with moisture from that very land. It was cut off from its source of life... was it trying to "get back" when it sensed the water below? I place more agency in the stick and the land than I do myself, Bill, or some spiritual source.

As for the failure of dowsers to locate underground pipes at better than chance rates in empirical tests, that water is contained and in very small quantities, as compared with an underground reservoir or stream in the sponge-like strata of earth and rock. The tests were all conducted trying to locate water flow in pipes that were shallow, with water flowing different directions as they diverted it with valves to test the dowsers. I couldn't find an empirical test that surveyed real life well drilling.

Any method that can locate underground resources (of a different density) is better than just guessing. If drillers can increase their percentage of hits (for water, oil, gas, minerals), then the method is useful and profitable. No method at all is foolish.

My geologist friend just emailed and gave me a list of wells and location within 1200 feet of my lot. I probably won't mention the rhabdomancy to him. He has a different method, very systematic, purely "scientific."

Owtovit's picture

Walter Schauberger


Austrian water genius....his work on flow dynamics from his nature observations led to suppressed technologies,

A history of him and his discoveries about water .... A very interesting read http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/supressed_inventions/suppressed_inventions17.htm

Rainforest's picture

It's Not The Stick

Your dowsing would have come to the same conclusion whether you had used the stick, rods, or pendulum. the only difference would be the reaction each one transmitted back to you when targeting.

Swift Boat Vet's picture

My Parents' Farm Had -----

two wells, both 'witched' about 100+ years apart. The first one was hand dug and struck great water at 30 feet. The second well was drilled in the '80s on the opposite side of a ravine with a small stream. The second well hit water at 105' or so. It was more than 3 times deeper, BUT ---- it hit an artesian well and had one 'helluva' lot of water gushing out until it was lined and a shutoff valve installed. I'm sure a believer in witching, but can't do it myself at all.


jackstar's picture

Simple Pump

We're on a well here in SE New Hampshire, 6-inch steel casing, 95 feet deep, don't know how many gallons, but has always been more than adequate. We're saving up for one of these for self-sufficiency. Nice website. http://www.simplepump.com/index.html

Donutwarrior's picture


Although I am skeptical of witching, I suppose there is room for everything in the world. In areas around Phoenix, its only a matter of drilling deep enough to hit water, unless you are in bedrock terrain. Up near Flagstaff, decent wells are generally very very expensive unless you have perched water. Verde Valley is fairly easy (in the valley), but stay away from the river unless you want to be sued by SRP. $2700 seems reasonable for a cheap well, although I hope he is installing a good surface seal to keep contaminants out. I also assume you will not have gravel pack and other annular fill for that price. Just slotted PVC pipe. That can become an issue if you have recharge at your location, such as near a creek. We (for CAP) had to replace a bunch of private wells near one of their recharge facilities due to cascading water causing muddy, turbid water from the wells. But if its only 30 feet to water then you should be fine. You probably should consider basic testing of the water quality, it would be good to know TDS (total dissolved solids) pH, oxidation reduction potential and some basic chemistry (Sulfate, Chloride, nitrate, bicarbonate, carbonate, Na, K, Mg, Ca). Metals are good to know (particularly mercury and arsenic), but are rarely a real problem. Unless you are a big City water system like Phoenix. Remote areas are unlikely to have chlorinated solvent or other nasty problems, other than maybe nitrates or salty water. My firm oversees drilling of about fifty to a hundred wells per year in Arizona, primarily municipal production wells and monitor wells. I mainly do hydrogeologic evaluation and groundwater modeling, and have worked all over the state in various capacities. If you care, I would be happy to tell you what I know of a given area based on my experience. I do know many of the drillers, and have reservations about some of them. Let me know and I can contact you.

Fred Hayek's picture

Good stuff as usual, Dr. J.

Back in the late 90's we had two different clients who were building golf courses.   We helped them get all their necessary permits and contributed most of the design but not the stuff like the design of the holes, like the 4th hole being a dog leg right of a certain distance and a certain shape etc. 

Anyway, one client decided to put the well behind where the snack shack was going to go just because that was convenient.  He never did a study, never consulted a geologist or anyone.  Just, oh, how 'bout right over there.  The well guys came and drilled and they got a tremendous flow exactly where he wanted the well purely by chance.

The other client hired every sort of scientist whose expertise is relevant.  They dug all over the 200 acre site.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing. 

Eventually they brought in a guy with a dousing rod.  He had the two metal pieces as described above.  He suggested a couple of spots though I think I was told without great enthusiasm about them.  I really wanted this to work just for the ironic value if nothing else.  But they dug at those spots and, again, got nothing.

That client ended up connecting to the Town water system.  It's more expensive than getting the water from a well of his own but it's reliable and we're still in  pretty good shape about water supply here in central Massachusetts.

Incidentally, in regard to septic systems and wells, the regulation here in Massachusetts is that a drinking water well has to be at least 100 feet from a septic system leaching area.  But I attended a seminar held by the U. Mass. professors who wrote that regulation and they were quite candid that once you got 25 feet horizontally away from a septic system leaching area you could not detect even a minimal level of pollutants. 

akhutch's picture

Hey Donut

I have a well from hell, not really but sometimes it can be a pain to maintain. It's 6 inch casing 300' deep in 280' of permafrost and artesian too. I had it drilled in '81' when the interest rate was sky high so the driller carried his own paper.
I have an old style 290' copper clad heat tape you can't buy anymore. It's on for 12 hrs a day to keep it thawed. I'm on my second heat tape as a lightning strike blew the first one up. Cost $1200.00 to replace, no idea what it would cost to replace today as you have to use the new plastic stuff. Draws about 6.3 amps at 220 volts, electricity is .70 cents a KWHR. Comforts don't come cheap up here 50 miles below the Arctic Circle.
One winter the ice built up in the casing and lifted the top seal enough to let it seep for who knows how long. Had quite a glacier spread out under the snow. Life in the far north is a never ending education. Still learning after 49 winters here, and they don't get any easier at my age.

JY896's picture

Non sequitur - (assisted?) suicides and accidents, Ukraine style

Maybe he was a spoiled, macho hothead who believed he could drive on water... but then the 5 others in the van survived?

"Viktor Yanukovych’s son of same name killed after minibus plunges through ice on Lake Baikal in Siberia, reports Ukrainian politician"


Some other news sources here (though I have only found Anglo- or Anglo-sponsored media reporting):

It could be just a coincidence... Like the 5 other political allies/deputies/enforcers of the ex-pres who suddenly became despondent and 'took their own lives':

'A former regional governor has been found dead in Ukraine, the latest in a series of deaths involving allies of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych.'


Donutwarrior's picture


Although I live in the suburbs of hell (in the summer) we do have groundwater, it s just a matter of drilling deep enough.  Its 700 to 800 feet to water at my house, so I won't be drilling a well anytime soon.  I tend to forget that is not the case everywhere, as many areas are bedrock terrains (east coast away from the coast) with hit or miss water availability.  We use geophysics a bit, but it is still a crap shoot in many ways because the techniques are only reliable when you have wells to tie the data to.  Which is what you are trying to site.....so....CSAMT is a good bedrock technique, but it is hazy.  Electrical methods are generally the focus for water exploration.  Which is why dousing may be seeing changes in the telluric (earth) currents indicative of water filled fractures in the rock.  So I suppose it is possible.

I did drill a duster once, and it cost about half a million.  For a gold mine no less.  For an HFT firm.  The driller was a stacker too.  Fortunately we told them that up front, because reviewing nearby well data made me realize a lot of dusters had been drilled locally.  And this was sadly the next one.  The mine was abandoned, because the only viable backup plan was hauled water from a well 10 to 15 miles away.  Feasibility dropped to zero.  I had fun arguing with the US Forest Service over that project.  They had truly crazy monitoring schemes they wanted me to implement.  We actually drilled three tiny monitor wells with a shop vac for that project.  The first wells drilled under our firms drilling license (we are consultants).  I really was sad about that one.

In Arizona its 50 feet I think from a septic system, but we don't drill many private domestic wells.  If you know the direction of groundwater flow, you can stay upgradeient and minimize the toilet to tap issue.

Donutwarrior's picture

280 Feet of Permafrost?

That is definitely the well from (ice cold) hell.  A little more than leaving the tap running to keep the water flowing.  I have trouble relating since we rarely see temps below 40, so I have no experience with freezing wells.  We did lose water at my house once because one of the City system's valves froze up and shut down our pressure zone.  It was 22 degrees that day, coldest I can ever remember since I lived back in the midwest as a kid.  So it does get mildly cold here in Phoenix.

Lightning is a real issue.  We constructed a treatment system for the Town of Payson many years ago, and the many summer lightning storms in the area stuck the wells and fried the computer control system.  Our client didn't want the new fangled wireless remote controls (as they were cutting edge then, hence expensive) for the well control system, so we ran control wires from the system to the pumps.  Lightning stuck the wells and the surge came down the control wires and blew out the PC we used to control the system.  It happened several times until we put in heavy duty lightning rod systems at the wells. 

Big L's picture

I've done it

It works. Was shown how by some 'local' boys maybe 30 or more years ago. It was kinda scary because I didn't expect it to work and the stick really pulled downward. I was shocked at the time.

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