Well driller Randy Gebke usually uses a geology database and other high-tech tools to figure out where to sink new water wells for clients. But if asked, he’ll grab two wires, walk across the property, waiting for the wires to cross to find a place to drill.
Gebke is water witching, using an ancient method with a greater connection to superstition than science.
Cherry is a common choice, Gebke said, but no one chooses willow.
“That pulls toward dog squat,” he said, laughing at the thought of looking for water and finding a pile of something unwanted instead.
The National Groundwater Association, a trade group for well drillers, has officially disavowed witching as “totally without scientific merit.”
“I’m not going to dispute it because you hear too many stories,” said Mark Basch, a hydrologist who heads water rights and use operations at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. But, he said, there’s no scientific explanation for it, “not in any of the books I read in school.”
Source: Washington Post
Not only is without explanation, there is no plausibility ever discovered for it and testing it shows it DOESN’T work. Even Agricola, in his famous work De Re Metallica, knew dowsing was pointless. It’s a superstition. So, the NGA is pretty much on the nose here. Note that the guy still uses geologic maps and scientific tools. So, the rods are pretty much superfluous. In almost all cases, water will be found in an aquifer at depth. The most common solution is to deepen your well to reach a lower level of water or create more storage space in the well. So, water witching may appear to work but, really, drilling almost anywhere will get you to water.