With more than 81% of California’s population in extreme drought conditions, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, water dowsers, or water witches, are becoming more popular, including with California’s farmers and ranchers, Mary Catherine O’Connor for The Guardian reported.

Dowsers use unconventional methods to help people find water, mineral and natural gas sources, such as using a y- or l-shaped twig or rod or a pendulum to locate the resources people are in search of. In the pendulum method, predetermined directions for both yes and no allow dowsers to ask questions and receive answers. Using the twig or rod method allows dowsers to determine where the desired objects can be found while the dowser moves about, according to the James Randi Education Foundation.

In California, it is speculated that people are turning to dowsers instead of hydrologists due to financial reasons, O’Conner reported. Dowsers may charge up to $1,000 to help farmers find new water sources, while hydrologists can cost between $10,000 and $50,000, said Ted Johnson, chief hydrologist for the Water Replenishment District of Southern California and president of the board of the Groundwater Resources Association of California.

Click here to read more about water dowsers in California from The Guardian.

To learn more about the drought, click here.