- July 18, 2021
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Business
CALISTOGA, Calif. — In a vineyard flanked by scorched hills and charcoal trees, Rob Thompson gripped two stainless steel rods, began rotating in a circle and counted under his breath.
Then he said he had found it — water, hundreds of feet beneath the parched ground.
“This is really good,” said Thompson, 53, scratching an ‘X’ into the ashen soil with his shoe. “This is a deep one: 750 feet, 55 to 60 gallons a minute.” He added, “This one I can feel.”
Thompson is a water witch.
He claims that he can locate streams of water in the fractures in the earth’s bedrock, using two L-shaped rods that together resemble an old-fashioned television antenna. Amid California’s extreme drought, just a two-hour drive north of the nation’s technology capital of Silicon Valley, the water-seeking services of a man relying on two 3-foot rods and a hunch are in demand.
“This is my busiest I think I’ve ever been in my life,” said Thompson, a third-generation water hunter…