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Drought-hit Texas town uses "witching" to find water
yahoo news via Reuters ^ | June 30, 2011 | Jim Forsyth

Posted on 07/01/2011 4:06:31 PM PDT by bgill

Using a couple of brass rods and a big helping of ingenuity, one tiny Texas town has managed to subvert a drought-related crisis and bring water to the people.

The Llano River was dangerously close to drying up as Texas faces a punishing and record-breaking drought. Residents of this Hill Country town west of Austin depend on the river for their entire water supply.

It neared zero flow this week, and the city was looking at trucking in water from 20 miles away, when city leaders employed the old-fashioned "witching" technique to strike water in the limestone bedrock near the city's water treatment plant.

"It was done by the use of two brass spindles ... and you walk with them in either hand," said City Manager Finley deGraffenried.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: dowsing; drought; texas; witching
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Between October and May, Texas experienced the driest eight-month period since records began in 1895.

Texas is in a severe drought. This new well is miraculous. 92,000 gallons per minute!

1 posted on 07/01/2011 4:06:39 PM PDT by bgill
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To: bgill

I live in an area of NM that evreybody has a well, or hauls water in.

The drilling companies have “witchers”, and they hit a lot more often than they miss. A miraculous well in this neighborhood is 15 gallons a minute.


2 posted on 07/01/2011 4:09:41 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: bgill

You always have to wonder if they had drilled 100 ft in any direction if they would have hit water anyway.


3 posted on 07/01/2011 4:10:11 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: bgill
They're using my ex-wife to find water?!? She couldn't find her own ass with both hands and a mirror.

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away, for his name is Obama."

4 posted on 07/01/2011 4:13:20 PM PDT by Viking2002 (RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Probably witching "works" because there is in fact ground water almost everywhere. It's possible the witchers have a pretty good working knowledge of where to hit water anyway, and the arm-twisting is just an act.

The National Ground Water Association strongly opposes the use of water witches to locate groundwater on the grounds that controlled experimental evidence clearly indicates that the technique is totally without scientific merit. The Association recommends the use of proven hydrogeological and geophysical techniques for groundwater reconnaissance when its presence is not easily recognizable by drilling contractors.

5 posted on 07/01/2011 4:16:53 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: Viking2002
They're using my ex-wife to find water?!? She couldn't find her own ass with both hands and a mirror.

Was she able to find your wallet?

6 posted on 07/01/2011 4:17:26 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Viking2002
“They're using my ex-wife to find water?!? She couldn't find her own a** with both hands and a mirror”

Well to be fair, objects may be larger than they appear in the mirror

Will

7 posted on 07/01/2011 4:18:31 PM PDT by will of the people
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To: bgill

Residents of this Hill Country town west of Austin depend on the river for their entire water supply.

I had to read through the sixth paragraph to find the name of “this Hill Country town”....Llano. And I think it’s actually called “dowsing”. I’ve never heard it called “witching”. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s not.


8 posted on 07/01/2011 4:18:44 PM PDT by Terry Mross (I'll only vote for a SECOND party.)
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To: Terry Mross

In Texas, it’s called “witching,” and it works. My uncle used peach tree switches and never missed hitting water in always-dry West Texas.


9 posted on 07/01/2011 4:24:51 PM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: Terry Mross

I’ve run a public water supply company for almost 30 years. I’ve seen this work! 2 guys I know can do it. Not just for drilling wells, but for finding lost service lines.


10 posted on 07/01/2011 4:25:42 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: hellbender

I’ve watched a guy do it. It is real.


11 posted on 07/01/2011 4:26:02 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Viking2002

They’re using my ex-wife to find water?!? She couldn’t find her own ass with both hands and a mirror.

Was it missing??? ;)


12 posted on 07/01/2011 4:26:54 PM PDT by Isabel2010
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To: kittymyrib

It’s very common and accepted here in NC, too. Every house I’ve ever built and every house I’ve ever known to have a well dug, was “witched” beforehand. River Birch or Willow, here. Watery trees.

What’s even more interesting is to see often the same old guys witch a lost, buried power line with a copper coathanger.


13 posted on 07/01/2011 4:28:55 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Plumbers use it also to find pipes, I have never become convinced it works.


14 posted on 07/01/2011 4:31:08 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
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To: bgill

I tried picking lottery numbers that way once. I took 50 some index cards and wrote numbers on them, shuffled them and laid them face down on the patio. I used a forked willow branch to pick the lottery numbers.

I didn’t win 100 million, thus proving that dowsing doesn’t work.


15 posted on 07/01/2011 4:33:16 PM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
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To: bgill
I have seen dowsing work on several occasions. As for locating a good fishing spot it really doesn't work.
16 posted on 07/01/2011 4:35:03 PM PDT by crazyhorse691 (Obama makes me yearn for the good ol' days of Carter.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
'Was she able to find your wallet?'

She not only found it, she rendered it inert.

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away, for his name is Obama."

17 posted on 07/01/2011 4:38:32 PM PDT by Viking2002 (RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!)
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To: Bryan24
You did not watch a controlled experiment, like those conducted by the Nat. Ground Water Assoc. Saying "I've seen it work" is what is known as "anecdotal evidence;" that's not science. Witchers or dowsers find water simply because water is almost everywhere underground.

The article says that the Llano River is still flowing. If rivers and streams continue to flow long after it has rained, it's because they are receiving discharge from the ground water. That's proof that there is water down there. Also, the article says the water was in limestone bedrock. Limestone usually has large solution channels which carry large volumes of ground water.

18 posted on 07/01/2011 4:40:07 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: Isabel2010
'Was it missing??? ;)'

No, mine was after the divorce, though.

"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away, for his name is Obama."

19 posted on 07/01/2011 4:40:35 PM PDT by Viking2002 (RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!!!!)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

*** A miraculous well in this neighborhood is 15 gallons a minute.***

Salty or alkali?


20 posted on 07/01/2011 4:44:37 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare! NEW PHOTOS!)
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To: bgill

“Witching” (like dowsing) is completely illogical and wrong.

One should NEVER EVER do it.

(What a silly endeavour!)

And yet it works. Proveably and scientifically.

Maybe we DON’T understand our LORD’s Earth as well as we think?


21 posted on 07/01/2011 4:46:20 PM PDT by golux
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To: hellbender

I watched a preacher find the water line into my brother-in-law’s house. He had no clue where the water line was. They made him walk a straight line and his “wand” dropped right down over the line.

Scientifically, I believe it is possible. Some people’s bodies are more susceptible to magnetic fluctiations and such. I believe that is one element of it.

But I’ve seen it done. Absolutely.


22 posted on 07/01/2011 4:47:13 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Bryan24

I saw a guy do it with willow. To prove it he had me put vice grips on the branches and it actually twisted in the vice grips at the spot.

We hit water..47 feet and 80 gal recovery.

I wouldnt have believed it if I hand not seen it with my own eyes.


23 posted on 07/01/2011 4:48:59 PM PDT by crz
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To: RegulatorCountry

“What’s even more interesting is to see often the same old guys witch a lost, buried power line with a copper coathanger.”

Some surveyers witch to find old survey pins. I thought it was a dumb idea till an old county surveyer found a pin we’d been looking for for an hour. When the rods crossed, we lowered a plumbob and it hit the lost pin dead center. May not work everytime, but that time convinced me.


24 posted on 07/01/2011 4:49:25 PM PDT by DugwayDuke
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To: crazyhorse691
I have seen dowsing work on several occasions. As for locating a good fishing spot it really doesn't work.

Well, if you used two sticks, that won't work. You have to use two fish.

25 posted on 07/01/2011 4:50:59 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I’ve dowsed successfully. When I was 15 some heavy construction equipment rumbled through the side yard of our rural house and crushed the pipe from the house to the septic tank. We were newbies from the city. I was assigned the task of digging a trench the length of the house to find out where the pipe was.

I’d been reading about dowsing and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it—I was going to have to dig a long trench and it didn’t matter where I started. I used clotheshanger wires bent into an L-shape and a couple of Coke bottles rather than brass cylinders. The wires kept swinging at the same spot as I paced along the side of the house.

I dug there and voila, the pipe was right there six feet down or so.


26 posted on 07/01/2011 4:51:01 PM PDT by Colinsky
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To: DugwayDuke

I use coat hangers for witching and have located lost jewelry to underground water pipes.


27 posted on 07/01/2011 4:52:47 PM PDT by drdemars (Each moment new)
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To: hellbender

One of the largest aquifers in the United States (if not the world), whose size is still unknown and whose bottom has not been found, is in the middle of DEATH VALLEY.


28 posted on 07/01/2011 4:53:14 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: kittymyrib
In Texas, it’s called “witching,” and it works. My uncle used peach tree switches and never missed hitting water in always-dry West Texas.

I was taught to "witch" for water 60 years ago by an old man in a community very near Llano who before he retired was a medical doctor. He used a peach limb that had a fork in it. I, through trial and error, found that I could locate water, water pipes or any other source of underground water.

I still to this day cain't explain how it works but I would never drill for water unless I witched the location.

29 posted on 07/01/2011 4:55:50 PM PDT by River_Wrangler (Nothing difficult is ever easy!)
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To: crz

I saw the guy do it with a cloths hanger.


30 posted on 07/01/2011 5:00:00 PM PDT by Bryan24 (When in doubt, move to the right..........)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Here's a comment from a well driller about dowsing:

I work for a small family-owned waterwell drilling company in west central IN. We deal with witchers almost daily. New customers want to know if it works, old timers are convinced. The geology in this part of Indiana is wildly varied. We have drilled sand and gravel wells anywhere from 40' to 240'. Several rock formations are found in our area. Rock wells can be anywhere from 50' to 400' with the yield between 10gal./hr. to 100+/ min. Let me assure you, no witcher has ever been any more than chance. As Randi has reported, any failure is written off. We have been told many times "You missed the water by 20' feet. Most well drillers will drill where a witcher picks. Most of the time it doesn't matter. The drillers knowledge is still the best bet.

31 posted on 07/01/2011 5:00:55 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: RegulatorCountry

I made a believer out of my wife when I fashioned two pieces of copper wiring and asked her to walk across the property.
Every time the wires crossed she was standing directly over a water or electrical line.
I knew where they were located, she did not.


32 posted on 07/01/2011 5:10:32 PM PDT by LFOD (Formerly - Iraq, Afgahnistan - back home in Dixie.)
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To: bgill

Here in Pennsyltucky we do it with a forked peach limb. It works, too. I have also heard of them using brass or copper rods, similar to what you described. It’s called “Dowsing”.


33 posted on 07/01/2011 5:19:45 PM PDT by Tucker39
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To: hellbender

Looks to me that NGWA is pimping for it’s members, not unheard of when it comes to protecting/generating income for connected people. I have a son who was going to buy a foothill property. Previous buyers and builders in the neighborhood couldn’t find water in the area and resorted to hauling in water and storing in large supply tanks. My son hired a ‘witcher’ to check the property he intended to buy. The ‘witcher’ located a spot and suggested that a well be drilled. End of story- the well produced plenty of water even if the iron content was high.


34 posted on 07/01/2011 5:20:20 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: bgill

I have an aunt and uncle that both have the gift of “water witching”. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to get it to work.


35 posted on 07/01/2011 5:22:54 PM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country.----------In the same way Rush is balance, I am consensus.)
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To: bgill

P.S. Here is what Wikipedia says about it: Dowsing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
For the English iconoclast, see William Dowsing.

A dowser, from an 18th century French book about superstitions. Otto Edler von Graeve in 1913 Dowsing is a type of divination employed in attempts to locate ground water, buried metals or ores, gemstones, oil, gravesites,[1] and many other objects and materials, as well as so-called currents of earth radiation (Ley lines), without the use of scientific apparatus. Dowsing is also known as divining (especially in reference to interpretation of results),[2] doodlebugging (in the US)[citation needed], or (when searching specifically for water) water finding, water witching or water dowsing.[3]

A Y- or L-shaped twig or rod, called a dowsing rod, divining rod (Latin: virgula divina or baculus divinatorius) or witching rod is sometimes used during dowsing, although some dowsers use other equipment or no equipment at all.

Dowsing appears to have arisen in the context of Renaissance magic in Germany, and it remains popular among believers in Forteana or radiesthesia[4] although there is no accepted scientific rationale behind the concept and no scientific evidence that it is effective.


36 posted on 07/01/2011 5:24:27 PM PDT by Tucker39
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To: bgill

WOW, 92,000 GPM!!! The well bore must be 8 foot in diameter and the pressure 500 PSI!!!

Me thinks someone made a mathematical error on some level. Otherwise they better be prepared for San Antone to drag their City Limits west of em real fast.


37 posted on 07/01/2011 5:25:46 PM PDT by dusttoyou ("Progressives" are wee-weeing all over themselves, Foc nobama)
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To: hellbender

I saw a show once where a guy claimed he could not only find water, but also paper money. The host wanted to try a test and put a bill under one of two objects. He let the guy see where it went and then told him to show the audience what it would look like before they did the real test.

The guy chose the wrong location. DOH!


38 posted on 07/01/2011 5:30:27 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: bgill

Divining rods do work. My family used them to find $20,000 that my spouse’s Depression-Era grandfather had buried in coffee cans on his property.


39 posted on 07/01/2011 5:35:28 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. *4192*)
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To: UCANSEE2

That sounds like a fascinating read, have anymore information so some research can be done on the internet?


40 posted on 07/01/2011 5:45:27 PM PDT by Outlaw Woman
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To: Bryan24

I heard of that..and brazing rods. Never saw it done that way though.

The old guy told me that you had to have faith in it to make it work.


41 posted on 07/01/2011 5:50:37 PM PDT by crz
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Calcium...

Well, Mrs. Slim won’t have to take suppliments.


42 posted on 07/01/2011 5:53:44 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: hellbender

Perhaps, but my well has been productive for 16 years in an area where 5 is good.

Maybe I got lucky, but I’ll take it.


43 posted on 07/01/2011 5:55:39 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: hellbender

“Limestone usually has large solution channels which carry large volumes of ground water.”

One geophysical method used for locating water-filled fractured rocks is VLF Electromagnetics. Uses the VLF energy from the land-based submarine antennas that are constantly sending the VLF energy through the earth. The energy will be concentrated in fractures and other conductive linear features, like metal pipes, wires, and even in PVC pipes with water in some situations. It is one way that typical utility locating wands work.

I am not so sure that (or how) the willow branches work. But, the wire rods will be affected by the VLF current in pipes (I can even do it once in awhile). I imagine if the limestone fracture was large enough (and at the gpm it was it must have been!), I would not be too much of a sceptic of the wire rods. Although would prefer a bit more scientific method using geophysics. But the physics is there. Although I’m not sure why some folks can do it and others can’t - no doubt something in the chemical makeup of the person (iron, salt, etc.) that makes them a better “antenna” than others.

We used VLF to locate wells in a tight formation in New Jersey. Typical wells were just barely enough for a house 4 to 6 gallons/min. With the VLF we would locate fractures and wells would be in the upper thousands of gallons a minute. Twice we found wells where the owner sold most of the water to the local town. Didn’t use metal rods though!

Another mechanism might be the water flowing in the limestone channels, which creates an eletrical field (streaming potential). Again, better ways to measure and detect that, but I wonder if the metal rods might be affect by that as well (if large enough channels, shallow enough, etc.)

I’ll have to search for the NGWA results.

What IS interesting is what deperate people will turn to.


44 posted on 07/01/2011 5:56:14 PM PDT by 21twelve (Obama Recreating the New Deal: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2185147/posts)
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To: UCANSEE2

Most of the valleys out that way are actually old river or old lake beds. Aint hard to see if you look at it and think that water wont lay on top of hills.

I got a place in Golden Valley AZ. Kingman is in the next valley. Along the Golf course on the side of the cliffs you can see where the water had washed out bowls against the sandstone ages ago. Yet..it wont take that long to suck those dry if they over populate. Phoenix is actually sinking from the draw off the aquifer. The problem isnt the water, its the lack of amount of rain they get to regenerate that aquifer.

Funny thing, the higher up the mountains you go the shallower the wells are. Up the mountains, some wells are just 80 feet down and endless recovery. Down in the valley they can drill a thousand feet before they get water. I know one lady who has a well just down from me who has a well at just over 250 feet and the recovery is at about 50 gal. But, you can bore some dry holes there also.


45 posted on 07/01/2011 6:04:29 PM PDT by crz
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To: UCANSEE2
If I want to dowse for dead democratic voters (you know the ones who have been dead for 40 years but are still on the voter roles, and they show they voted in the last election), what do I go to the cemetery and use to jackasses hitched together on a brass donkey hitch?

Does it point DOWN when I get over a dead democrat voter?

Maybe to their abode?

46 posted on 07/01/2011 6:11:15 PM PDT by BereanBrain
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To: noinfringers2
If water-witching really works, why wouldn't the NGWA enthusiastically endorse it? The NGWA is composed largely of well drillers, plus geologists. Why wouldn't a well driller be happy to use a method which would make his customers happy?

The reason is that most drillers and all geologists know the facts about ground water: that it is almost everywhere. Non-scientists think water is in "underground streams" scattered here and there; that's false. When I was involved with drilling in limestone (the rock in the Texas story), the problem was not finding water; it was 1) finding clean water, because the large conduits are easily contaminated, and 2) avoiding creating sinkholes at the surface when the well is pumped.

47 posted on 07/01/2011 6:30:59 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: Blood of Tyrants
You always have to wonder if they had drilled 100 ft in any direction if they would have hit water anyway.

You get a good 'witcher' and they can not only FIND water but tell you how deep and what volume,

Just because one doesn't know about something - doesn't mean it doesn't work.

48 posted on 07/01/2011 6:45:08 PM PDT by maine-iac7 (I AM ISRAEL)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I worked for WSSC one summer and watched often as one guy on the truck would bring out his brass rods and find the water main. I never saw him miss.

Not everyone can do it, but some can.


49 posted on 07/01/2011 6:47:10 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: hellbender

People believe in water witching or divining rods, because people still believe in ghosts, psychics, and demons. If you go to more remote uncivilized areas, people can believe in evil spirits causing disease, drought, volcanic eruptions and bad luck. There are people that believe anything under the sun. Humans are a gullible bunch.


50 posted on 07/01/2011 6:49:28 PM PDT by ZX12R
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