Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Water Witches

armers are turning to water witching during the long Californian drought.

The drought has lasted for two years so far, and desperate farmers are seeking assistance from dowsers in Firebaugh, near Fresno.

Water witching, better known as water divining or water dowsing, is the practice of locating water, metal, lost objects or people using sticks, wires, rods, pendulums or other instruments.

By any name, with any device, it has never been proven to work.

The supposed success rate of dowsers is “100%”, but the evidence is anecdotal. Not what I would want to rely on before spending thousands of dollars digging the earth on a “hunch”.

The dowser’s responses are best explained scientifically as the Ideomotor Effect.

Water Diving tests have been the staple claim of the James Randi Educational Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge, and the $100,000 Challenge offered by the Australian Skeptics.

Under double-blind tests, dowsers have never demonstrated that their object hunting abilities achieve results better than chance…

Watch this FOX News Channel segment about water witching in Firebaugh, California.

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