Dowsing is a technique for locating underground water, minerals and metals, generally for sensing information about geological substances or conditions. Although it's quite debatable whether it is a psychic ability, or rather a bodily sensitivity to weak electromagnetic fields there's little doubt as to its potential value. As Stephan Schwartz emphasizes, a well-planned collaboration between engineers, using state- of-the-art technology, and dowsers could lead to some rich payoffs. By predicting the position, depth, etc., of the desired deposit strata, dowsers can save millions of dollars for large companies. For example, Ontario Hydro, the world's third largest water company, disclosed that they regularly employ dowsers in con- junction with their engineering techniques. Often huge problems arise from uncharted cables or pipelines, as during the construction of the Pickering nuclear power plant in Ontario, when Caterpillar operators were almost electrocuted by striking 4,000-volt power lines which they were unable to locate precisely. After delays entailing considerable costs, the chief engineer at Hydro called in a dowser who traced out the cable path with a rod, enabling them to excavate it.

Dowsing also can be an effective and low-cost solution for finding water. The waterless city of Elsinore had been paying Los Angeles large sums to bring water from there. All the federal and state experts had concurred that there was simply no water in that sector. A well-known dowser named Verne Cameron who lived in the city, insisted that he had located an aquifer under the dried-up lake bed. After being refused a more ample supply of water, the city finally decided to test Cameron's claim, and struck one of the largest wells in Southern California, exactly where he had predicted.

Some dowsing, at least, seems indisputably "paranormal" - for some people are able to locate water or minerals at a distance, using simply a map and a pendulum. Henry Gross, one of the best-known American dowsers, was at a reception in the state of Maine, when a dinner conversation about drought-stricken Bermuda led him to try to locate water there with his map. Three out of the four locations he proposed were revealed to be exact -- wells were found in that area for the first time in over 300 years.


Selected Publications in Dowsing:

Applegate, George. (1998). The Complete Book of Dowsing: The Definitive Guide to Finding Underground Water. Element.

Betz, Hans-Dieter. (1993). Unconventional Water Detection: Field test of the dowsing technique in dry zones. Deutsche-Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.

Bird, Christopher. (1993). The Divining Hand: The 500-year-old Story of Dowsing. Whitford Press: Atglen, PA.

Graves, Tom. (1990). The Diviner's Handbook: A Guide to the Timeless Art of Dowsing.

Hyman, Ray & Vogt, Evon Z. (1960). Water-witching: An Anerican Paradox. Scientific American

Maby, J.C., & Franklin, T. B. (1939). The Physics of the Divining Rod. London: G. Bell and sons.

Naylor, Peter. (1999). Discovering Dowsing and Divining. Shire.

Webster, Richard (1996). Dowsing for Beginners: The Art of Discovering: Water, treasure, Gold, Oil, Artifacts, Llewellyn.

Vogt, Evon Z. (1956). Interviewing Water Dowsers. American Journal of Sociology, 62(2), Sep, 198.

Vogt, E. Z., & Hyman, Ray. (2000). Water Witching USA. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

Webster, Richard (1996). Dowsing for Beginners: The Art of Discovering: Water, Treasure, Gold, Oil, Artifacts. Llewellyn.

Wheatley, Dennis. (2000). Principles of Dowsing. Thorsons Pub.

Williamson, Tom. (1993). New Light on an Ancient Art. Robert Hale: London.

Wyman, Walker D. (1977). Witching for Water, Oil, Pipes, & Precious Metals. University of Wisconsin-River Falls Press.