California Farmers Must Be Really Desperate if They’re Resorting to This

I understand that California’s going through a dry season right now… but this is not the way to solve the problem:

The nation’s fourth-largest wine maker, Bronco Wine Co., says it uses dowsers on its 40,000 acres of California vineyards, and dozens of smaller farmers and homeowners looking for wells on their property also pay for dowsers. Nationwide, the American Society of Dowsers, Inc. boasts dozens of local chapters, which meet annually at a conference.

“It’s kind of bizarre. Scientists don’t believe in it, but I do and most of the farmers in the Valley do,” said Marc Mondavi, a vineyard owner whose family has been growing grapes and making wine since the mid-20th century in the Napa Valley.

Dowsers are “magical” tools that use “natural energy” to find water and minerals. You basically dig where you think the dowser is telling you to dig… you ignore all the times when there’s nothing below and count the successes as a miracle. Often, the dowser “tells” you to dig precisely where you’d expect water to be found — who’d have guessed?!

“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.

“The success is really an illusion. In most places you’re going to be able to drill and find some water,” he said.

Desperate times may call for desperate measures, but this is far below desperate. This is nothing but throwing your money away.

(Image via Shutterstock — Thanks to Zack for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X