back to article Water divining project abandoned after blowing AU$60k

Two Australian councils are out-of-pocket after funding an attempt to use water divining to help top up Lake Albert near the southern NSW town of Wagga Wagga. Lake Albert is a popular watersports location in the Riverina, but it suffers heavy evaporation losses and in summer, it can lose 25 per cent of its water. That led the …

  1. d3rrial

    In Germany...

    ...these sort of people call themselves "Naturheilpraktiker", 'Naturopaths' and they charge a lot more than AU$60k, while presenting an active health risk to everyone who uses their 'service'. Be glad in Australia they're at least not killing people with their silly copper tubes...

  2. Youngone Silver badge

    Tortured Logic

    If there's no way of knowing if there's any water down there until you've drilled, why pay someone $60k to tell you where to drill?

    1. dan1980

      Re: Tortured Logic

      To be fair, I don't think they paid the diviner for the information - $60K is what the drilling operation cost.

      Running a quick bit of maths, that works out around $275/m which is not crazy but add in some general costs beyond the boring and it seems about right.

      Of course, drilling based on the say-so of one old chap clutching a few tarnished coins and some metal sticks is nutty wherever the money went.

  3. GrumpyKiwi Silver badge
    FAIL

    Councils are full of retards - it is known Kalissi. (contracted at two of them and saw it first hand).

    Still there's always more ratepayers money where that came from.

  4. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    I believe...

    there are these chaps... not really sure what they're called... geologist I would like to say... and they use all these fancy sciency thingies to try and discern whats below the ground and such.

    I hear the oil industry is quite fond of them so they don't need to waste insane amounts of money on pointless drilling.

    1. dan1980
      Happy

      Re: I believe...

      You could even splash out for a Hydrogeologist. Guess what their specialty is? (Hint: it's in the name.)

      1. Known Hero

        Re: I believe...

        @dan1980

        ROCKS !!!! geologist !!! ami wright ami write ???

  5. FozzyBear Silver badge
    FAIL

    Ladies and gentlemen

    Hiring a guy whose equipment and experience consists of a couple of metal rods and wandering aimlessly around the landscape

    I embarrassingly present to you the level of intelligence of our local councils!

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Ladies and gentlemen

      "I embarrassingly present to you the level of intelligence of our local councils!"

      These guys are the bright ones. They only managed to waste $60K. My local council wasted over $100k on trials of biodegradable kitchen waste bags.

      "I embarrassingly present to you the level of intelligence of our local councils politicians!"

      FTFY

  6. Farnet

    interesting

    on the flip side, I've watched a water diviner before and a local drilling company uses him.

    I'm cynical at best but talking to the company they have a rule, the diviner always comes onsite and identifies not only where it is but also roughly how deep, he puts a metal stake in the ground where he considers the best (or only spot) and give the details to the company.

    they state that they will drill for water anywhere on the plot for x amount per meter, but if they drill that spot and dont find water the drilling is free.

    I watched them drill a spot at my brothers and I was laughing because the diviner stated there was water at about 60 meters, and at 50 meters they driller stopped walked away and put on oils skins.

    sure enough, at 65 meters a spout of water shot into the air and soaked my brother and myself.

    later on talking to the actual driller we ask how often the diviner gets it wrong and they said so far theyve done 100's of bore holes and he's been right every time, but quite regularily the customer doesnt like where the want to put the hole, and tell them to drill 3 - 4 meters to one side and sometimes there is nothing.

    after that I did some internet searches and found that companies like shell and BP use them as they are rather successful at finding oil reserves in remote areas....

    still dont understand it, and cant beleive it even though I saw it with my own eyes, but it has rattled me.

    1. Uffish

      Re: oil companies and diviners

      Oil companies can certainly be credulous. Look up Elf Aquitaine and Sniffer Aircraft.

      150 million dollars was spent on bogus science.

    2. ShadowDragon8685

      Re: interesting

      The belief in the paranormal has, I think, a certain attraction that would take the heart of any person; the most jaded atheist can find him- or herself praying fervently if they find themselves in a foxhole with enemy mortars raining down around them, and the most skeptical rationalist will find his or her heart-rate elevated, should they find themselves in a spooky surrounding, such as a creaky old attic that a rickety old woman has told them is haunted, or in an abandoned house or something to that effect in the middle of nowhere.

      The trick is not to bravado it out by creating a false shield of security, blindly ignoring what your instincts (misguided though they may or may not be) are telling you, for bracing your hands on your hips and loudly proclaiming "there are no such thing as ghosts!" has as much scientific credibility as brandishing a crucifix and bellowing "The power of Christ compels you to leave this place, spirit!"

      Instead, put it to the test. A good, thorough RIGOROUS scientific test, where no foregone conclusion has been established for which you are attempting to gain support, but a proper, genuine trial of "is this real, or not."

      Remember, there is no such thing as magic. There is superstition, and then there are fields of science which are not yet properly theorized. Put dowsers to the test. Compare the results to the predicted outcome of random chance. Actually put random chance to the same test. If the water in an area is so evenly distributed as for any given drilling to hit a water table eventually, then a dowser is likely to be right entirely by accident. Eliminate the variables; are you sure this dowser isn't actually a hydrogeologist and using the dowsing as showmanship and flimflam? What are the odds of any randomly-chosen location in the area having water in them? Could subsurface effects of the water somehow be causing the dowser to locate the water's high point through subconscious cues?

      Any thoroughly-analyzed form of "magic" is either debunked as bogus, or becomes a new branch of science; or at the least, is revealed to have a perfectly understandable natural origin.

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