Locating groundwater, using trees!
Most of us are familiar with images of water ‘dowsers’ or ‘diviners.’ These are people who survey an area using forked stick/rod/ a pendulum as a remote sensing device, in an effort to locate groundwater.
“In the classic method of using a forked stick, one fork is held in each hand with the palms upward. The bottom or butt end of the "Y" is pointed skyward at an angle of about 45°. The dowser then walks back and forth over the area to be tested. When he passes over a source of water, the butt end of the stick is supposed to rotate or be attracted downward,” notes the US Geological Survey, in a recent report on Water Dowsing.
In Meatu, Tanzania, local communities use a very different method of locating groundwater. During the dry season, they track the roots of the Mukuyu tree that grows along river beds (now dry) and dig to the depth where the root system makes contact with the water table. The latest post on TheWaterBlog (‘Finding Water with Trees’) provides further details and images.
Even the more modern methods of locating, abstracting, using and managing groundwater involve local activities, responding to local needs and informed by local knowledge/sensibilities. However, studying it from a global perspective is essential to managing it effectively. Hydrologist Jac van der Gun will explain why, in a webinar today at 1300 GMT.
The webinar is free to attend and open to all. For more info on Jac, the topic, local timings and how to attend, visit www.TheWaterChannel.tv/Webinar