Can Dowsing Find Underground Water with Two Wire Rods? Is there Scientific Evidence that it Actually Works?

Find out if dowsing is really effective in locating underground water. We explore the science behind this ancient dowsing method and its implications in the search for water resources

The dowser must feel in full physical and mental capacity, dress in natural fabrics and check that the weather is good.

The search for underground water has been a constant challenge for humanity throughout history. Since ancient times, various methods have been developed to detect the presence of this vital resource underground. One of the most popular, although controversial, methods is dowsing, also known as the art of searching for water with dowsing rods.

What is dowsing?

Dowsing is a practice that is based on the idea that certain people, known as dowsers, have a special sensitivity that allows them to detect radiation or energies emitted by objects, substances or phenomena, such as groundwater. Dowsers often use tools such as wire rods, pendulums or 'Y' shaped rods to carry out their searches.

Who are the dowsers?

It is a peculiar and ancestral figure that is in charge of an essential task: finding water underground. It is known as a dowser, a term that evokes magic and ancient wisdom. These individuals master a set of techniques passed down through generations to detect sources of groundwater.

The most common dowsing method for finding groundwater involves the use of two wire rods, usually in an L or Z shape. The dowser holds the rods in each hand, with the free ends pointing forward.

When walking on the ground, the rods will supposedly cross or move downward when the dowser passes over a place where there is groundwater.

What does science say about this technique?

Research on the effectiveness of the method of dowsing for finding groundwater has mostly concluded that the probability of success is similar to random searching.

It is believed that the movement of the stick or pendulum is due to involuntary subconscious movements, known as the "ideomotor effect", which is also related to other paranormal phenomena such as the movement of Ouija boards.

Dowsers unconsciously move their tools towards places where they think there may be water and these are often two wire rods in an L or Z shape.

Although the dowsing method has long been used in Spain, especially in dry areas, experts suggest that dowsers do not necessarily resort to paranormal techniques. Instead, they base their search on observing nature and local geology, studying the location of known wells, soil materials, and the presence of fractures in the rock.

Scientific experiments have consistently demonstrated dowsers' lack of ability to reliably detect water.