How to Find Water: Water Witching or Seismoelectric Technology

Groundwaterfinder from Midwest Irrigation and Electric

Understanding how to find water using modern seismoelectric technology can save a great deal of time, money and energy. Water witching, or water divining as it was also referred to, was at one time the only way of finding underground water. Particularly of finding groundwater in normally arid areas! These mysterious techniques resulted in their exponents being regarded as magicians or even sorcerors – but not today!

Seismoelectric technology has enabled science to take over from witchcraft in finding underground water. It is modern water witching, but a form of water divining that practically guarantees success. If water is there, seismoelectric technology will find it!

What is Water Witching or Water Divining?

Some people refer to it as ‘doodlebugging,’ some as ‘witching’ and others as ‘water divining’ or ‘twitching.’ If you ask most people how to find water other than digging, most will mention water witching or water divining. Most will be unaware of the modern technology behind finding groundwater aquifers underground.

In order to more easily compare the new technology with the old, you should first understand the science behind finding water using twigs. In fact, there is no science! Finding water underground using forked twigs or metal rods has rarely been found to work under controlled tests.

One scientific explanation for water witching is that when people expect water to be present in a particular location, they tend to get slightly excited and their hands twitch – not the twigs or whatever is used. Irrespective of any explanation of how they appear to work, would you genuinely like to put the important function of finding water underground to be based upon traditional water witching or water divining? Surely not!

The two main methods used in modern water witching use techniques based upon seismoelectrical technology,1 and electro seismic technology2.

What is the Difference Between Seismoelectric and Electroseismic Technology?

You will come across two terms used in modern water witching: seismoelectric and electroseismic. They may appear to be the same but they are not! Here is a very brief description of the difference between the two:

Seismoelectric Technology: This is based upon the way seismic waves generate electromagnetic fields in rocks and soils, and how these fields change when rock or soils interface with a significant water source.

The terms ‘seismic’ refers to an earth tremor or vibration. You can create a seismic wave simply by hitting a rock with sledgehammer! This sends a vibration down through the earth that can be measured. That vibration changes when it comes across an area of water, and the change can be measured electronically. The measurement not only shows water to present underground, but can also give an idea of how much and its quality.

Electroseismic Technology: Electroseismic technology is also based upon the effect that takes place when a seismic wave meets an interface such as rock-water. Not only does the wave generate electromagnetic waves that change when a rock-water interface is present, but it also generates an electrical charge separation signal that can be measured using an antenna at ground level.

Fundamentally, both of these technologies can be used to detect water underground. They can detect potential water wells or any other form of underground water. The seismoelectrical method depends intrinsically upon reflection of sound waves at a rock-water interface, while the electroseismic method depends upon electrical charge changes at the same type of rock-water interface. They are different techniques, but similar in their objective.

Groundwaterfinder from Midwest Irrigation and Electric

How Does Seismoelectric Groundwater Finding Work in Practice?

At we use seismoelectric technology to find groundwater water for you. Here is how we do it:

We check on the geology of your location to get an idea of where underground water could reasonable be expected to accumulate.We also research other wells and water sources in your geographical area to establish where it is best for us to commence testing.
Then we insert long metal rods into the soil to collect the signals.
These rods are connected to electrodes that transfer the signals to our computer.
We send a seismic signal down into the earth.
The signal wave creates an electrical disturbance at the interface between rock and water.
This disturbance signal passes up the rods and then into our computer.
We can then measure the depth of the water and how much there is.

We then provide you with a report that details:

A map of the area we have surveyed.
The GPS coordinates and map location of the water found.
An estimate of the depth of the aquifer.
An estimate of the amount of water present.

The information is sufficient for you to decide yourself whether or not it is worth drilling in that location. The seismoelectric method of finding underground water is fundamentally a modern way of water witching or water dowsing using modern technology to identify a source of underground water.

How to Find Water: Summary

Does traditional water witching or water dowsing work? Most think not – but some still swear by it. If it works for them then why not! However, our modern water witching technique uses proven scientific principles to find underground water on your land. Using science is the best way how to find groundwater, and seismoelectric technology is the best form of science to achieve that.


1. Dupuis, J.C., Butler, K.E., Kepic, A.W., 2007. Seismoelectric imaging of the vadose zone of a sand aquifer. Geophysics 72, A81–A85.

 2. Martner, S. T. and Sparks, N. R., 1959, The Electroseismic effect: Geophysics, 24, 297308
Groundwaterfinder from Midwest Irrigation and Electric


Ground Water Finder: How to Find Water the Easy Way

The traditional ‘ground water finder’ was known as a ‘witcher’ or ‘dowser’ who would use twigs of witch hazel, regular hazel or even willow to indicate to them when water lies below. They would hold a branch of the appropriate wood loosely in their hands, and wait for the twigs to ‘twitch’ or move slightly downward, when there was water below.

We all know of this, and have wondered how it worked or if it was all just a big con. In fact, there is a scientific explanation for this type of ‘dowsing’: if you dig deep enough you can find water almost anywhere! That aside, is this the way how to find water you genuinely want used to establish whether or not you have a source of water under your land? I doubt it! If you dig deep enough, yes! But how deep, and how much water?

Electroseismic Analysis of Ground Water

There is a far more scientific and effective ground water finder than witch hazel twigs! The name given to it even sounds scientific: the ‘seismoelectrical method’, also known as the ‘electroseismic method,’ uses what is known as the ‘electrokinetic effect’ or ‘streaming potential’ of a seismic wave passed through porous rock.

That’s the scientific explanation! Fundamentally, how it works is that sound waves are passed down into the earth. If these waves pass through porous rock containing water, they move the water but not the rock, and this relative motion between water and rock can be measured electrically. The more water, the greater the relative motion so the instrument can establish:

If there is water below,
How far down it is, and
Roughly how much water there is available.

It is fundamentally a scientific means of identifying potential drilling sites for water wells – anywhere in the world including beneath your land!

Benefits of Seismoelectrical Analysis

If you want to find out if there is a potential water well below any tract of land, not just your own, then seismoelectrical equipment is the best ground water finder available! Sure, ‘water divining’ sounds romantic and it would be great if it worked properly to help you find water, but the fact is that there are far better ways that offer close to 100% results! A lot higher success rate that any water witcher could claim, no matter how romantic the concept.

Groundwaterfinder from Midwest Irrigation and Electric

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