Tue, Apr 22, 2014 - Page 10 News List

California farmers hire dowsers to find water

Farm workers harvest squash in Rancho Santa Fe, California on Oct. 3, 2007.

Photo: Reuters

With California in the grip of drought, farmers throughout the state are using a mysterious and some say foolhardy tool for locating underground water: dowsers, or water witches.

Practitioners of dowsing use rudimentary tools — usually copper sticks or wooden “divining rods” that resemble large wishbones — and what they describe as a natural energy to find water or minerals underground.

While both state and federal water scientists disapprove of dowsing, California “witchers” are busy as farmers seek to drill more groundwater wells because of the state’s record drought that persists despite recent rain.

The nation’s fourth-largest winemaker, Bronco Wine, says it uses dowsers on its 16,200 hectares of California vineyards, and dozens of smaller farmers and homeowners looking for wells on their property also pay for dowsers.

(Liberty Times)







1. in the grip of phr.

苦於;受限於 (ku3 yu2; shou4 xian4 yu2)

例: Britain is in the grip of an obesity epidemic, with just 35 percent of people taking regular exercise.


2. foolhardy adj.

有勇無謀的;蠻幹的 (you2 yong3 wu2 mou2 de5; man2 gan4 de5)

例: They were foolhardy to jump off the bus while it was still moving.


3. divine v.

占卜;預言 (zhan4 bu3; yu4 yan2)

例: The fortuneteller divined what would happen next year.


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