IT HAS an almost mystical reputation but for a down to earth bloke like Col Krause, water divining is a straightforward matter of fact.
Finding water on farms, especially in an essentially arid place like Australia, can be a matter of life and death.
For some people, finding it by holding a piece of wire - or even a forked stick - is simply a matter of hocus-pocus.
But Mr Krause from Rosewood accepts his ability simply as something he was born with.
"Water divining is a gift in life. It's something that no one can learn," he said. "It's something that's been gifted to you from day one. If you haven't got that strength in you, you can't do it.
"It's to do with the currents in the ground and your own body. You have to focus on water."
To the uninitiated, water divining involves the wire or stick reacting to underground water.
"With the device that I use, when you come across a stream of water, it'll work; it'll engage the wire to flip up and hit you in the chest," Mr Krause said.
"I use a forked stick made of thick steel wire. I can use a branch but I'm more confident with wire."
Born 5km from where he lives, Mr Krause grew up watching his father divine for water.
"I used to mind the cattle and that and used to muck around with it and around the age of 18 I found I could do it," he said.
"My uncle Vic Krause, he's passed on now, but he had it. That's what they say; it will filter through your family."
Mr Krause worked at Jacaranda dairy factory at Booval and only used water divining as a sideline.
"It gets around that you can find water and I helped many a person out," he said.
"Of course you get different people with different attitudes. Some people will let you know how you went good or bad.
"I have struck a few, they'll abuse you. Sometimes people with the drilling rig, they don't have a lot of time for water diviners."
Mr Krause, 79 in March, stopped water divining 10 years ago because it affected his heart.
"I've had three heart attacks and the specialist told me, 'Col, give it away'," he said.
"What happens is it drains the current out of your system like a battery. It's like if you leave your car lights on without the motor running. If I go out and divine for a person, after an hour I'm absolutely exhausted. The skin gets torn off your hands and you've got no energy left in you."
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