Sunday, 2 March 2014

Californians Respond to Serious Drought With Sticks And Blind Faith

(source)

Times are pretty rough these days in California. They're having the worst drought in decades. Many farmers, faced with potential crop failure, turn to prayer to God to help bring forth rains.

No wait, that would be ridiculous. And so would science. What's that ever really done for anyone anyway? They turn to water witchcraft, naturally.

California Farmers Turn to 'Water Witchcraft' to Fight the Drought
While both state and federal water scientists disapprove of dowsing, California “witchers” are busy as farmers seek to drill more groundwater wells due to the state’s record drought that persists despite recent rain.
I can remember my own grandfather, a devout Roman Catholic of Irish descent, talking about how he had called the water finder to tell him where he had to dig his well. I'm not sure how accurate his guy was, but many studies later, there is zero evidence it actually works.

Anyway, these guys are making some serious coin.
After the valley’s most popular dowser died in recent years, Mondavi has become the go-to water witch in Napa Valley. He charges about $500 per site visit, and more, if a well he discovers ends up pumping more than 50 gallons per minute.
It's kind of sad, because unless this one guy in the article, Marc Mondavi, is the shining exception to all science done on this for centuries, people are being taken in -- whether Mondavi actually believes it or not.
“There’s no scientific basis to dowsing. If you want to go to a palm reader or a mentalist, then you’re the same person who’s going to go out and hire a dowser,” said Tom Ballard, a hydrogeologist with Taber Consultants, a geological engineering firm based in West Sacramento.
There are also scientific ways to detect water resources that presumably have hit rates higher than pure chance; which is what dowsing is currently batting at. During times of crisis, it's all too easy to fall back on superstitious pseudo-science, but with resources so scarce, California will need more than just blind luck.

1 comment:

  1. Its amazing how far people will go when in need. I wonder how many people would use dowsers if they were not in a drought.

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