In fact, I started this one back on July 19th or 20th but I'm only getting back to it now.
The story is still relevant though.
Do you like the "Wizard of Oz" reference in the title? You'll see how well it fits when you read this.
This story is amusing.
Before you read the newspaper article below let me tell you what happened.
It involves the Village's ongoing search for good capacity wells to maintain the supply for the residents currently on the Village system and possibly consider new development.
We are also reviewing the possibility of adding more of the existing homes in New Maryland onto the system who presently have their own wells.
Last year the Village purchased a piece of property known by many folks as the "Forbes property" on account of the name of the previous owners.
There is a well sitting on the property which was drilled years ago but not brought on-line since it is not potable without proper treatment.
We haven't ruled out the possibility of treating it as needed and using it.
However, Council (on the recommendation of the Water and Wastewater Committee, which I am still a member of) decided to drill to seek other wells on the Forbes property.
The Village has a consulting company who are experts in water exploration.
They examine and review land features and available data to determine where they believe the best spot to hit a gusher will be.
This can't be an easy job. If they had x-ray vision I'm sure they could nail it every time but they don't.
In all honesty no-one knows exactly what's down there and exactly where the water is.
We're talking about millions of years of rock formation and water aquifers forcing their way through the path of least resistance making their winding way through thousands of miles of weaving trails underground.
In my opinion this is not an exact science. It's as close as it can be with what we can determine.
Anyhow, a little while ago this company reviewed the Forbes property and looked at all that they could and told the drilling company where to do their thing.
The result was disappointing and we were not successful in finding a decent flowing spot.
The Village Public Works Supervisor reported the result to the members of the Water and Wastewater committee at our last meeting.
This is where I come into this and it gets interesting.
A long while back I was having a chat with a local guy about the water situation in New Maryland.
He casually mentioned to me that he has a slight knack for being able to get the lay of the land and having pretty good feelings where water may be.
I found that interesting and remarked that we may call him up to have a look at the Forbes property one day.
I mentioned this to the Committee and said that we should buy him a coffee and take him out for a stroll and ask his thoughts.
No pressure, just a stroll to compare his feelings with those of the consultant.
It couldn't hurt could it?
It would most certainly be cheaper.
From what I understand the Public Works Supervisor met our lad out there and walked around the property.
I don't believe the Public Works Supervisor had much faith in what he was told.
I'm not sure why that is.
Oh well, at least he went out there and told us his thoughts and it didn't cost us anything. Right?
No harm, no foul as they say.
Well, this stuff was brought up at the next Council meeting during discussions.
The next thing I know people were asking why we used that guy when there are other guys around who are known for their divining at "witching stick" abilities.
Then it was decided that the Village is going to contact one of these guys and have them look around for water.
I'll let you read the rest of the story here as it appeared in the Gleaner under the heading:
Village turns to water witchery
Published Saturday July 18th, 2009
New Maryland has no luck using conventional methods to find water source for development.
By JENNIFER DUNVILLE
Canadaeast News Service
NEW MARYLAND - The village of New Maryland may try witchery to find a water source on one of its properties.
Mayor Frank Dunn said it might sound silly, but dowsing to find water has been in practice since ancient times and some people put a lot of faith in it. "This all started after we dug for water and were unsuccessful on the old Forbes property we own right on Highway 101," Dunn said.
"A council member made the suggestion that we hire a dowser. It was said in jest, but we figured it might be worth a try. "Dowsing, which is also known as water witchery or divining, is used to locate something underground, including oil, metals or water. A dowser walks with a Y-shaped stick or rod, which points down abruptly when over the right spot.
Some dowsers also use a pendulum or two rods, which cross when over water. There are many skeptics of dowsing because there is no scientific evidence the process works, and Dunn admits he has no idea if it will help, but he said the village has nothing to lose by trying it.
"We have a guy in mind who does dowsing, so we figured we'll contact him and at least give it a chance if he's willing to do it," Dunn said. "In order to continue development in New Maryland in the future, we'll need to find more wells, and so far on this particular property, we haven't been successful in more conventional ways of searching for a water source. "The village is in the process of building a new water tower to improve water distribution, water storage capacity, system operating reliability and firefighting capabilities. Tenders for the elevated reservoir system are expected to be awarded this month, with construction beginning in the fall.
One-third of the village's residents are hooked to the municipal water system, while the rest have wells, and Dunn said the point of finding additional water sources is to have the option of hooking more people to the new system in the future.
"We've been searching for water sources for two years and have been successful in finding three wells, which are currently capped. When we have the funding, those wells will be tied into the new tower in the future," Dunn said.
"We have sufficient water for now. We're just planning ahead for future development." Dunn said a core sample has already been extracted from one area on the property, but it didn't turn up any water. He said two more digs are planned.
"That's the way it is; every time you do a core sample you take a risk that it'll be unsuccessful," Dunn said. "We'll probably drill in two more areas at least, but in the meantime may try contacting a dowser that we have in mind, and give that a try."
Dunn said he won't disclose the name of the dowser the village may use until he's had a chance to talk to him about it.
"Village turns to water witchery"??? What???
Come on. Really...
There's a story about the topic of witchery which I will have to tell you one day.
Let's just say that it isn't a very good word to throw around lightly.
As for the article content it's me that he refers to in the beginning of the article.
But for the record, I did NOT make the suggestion to hire a dowser. I mentioned my pal going for a stroll. That's all.
Nor did I make the suggestion in jest.
I was very serious about getting an opinion, at no cost, to compare with that of the "experts".
Now you know.
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