Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources.
I am called by a client for a search at the Italian border...far, far away in the mountains. A mountain village at the end of a dead end road.
The "war" of water is declared between certain villagers. My goal is to find some water for my client. After 30 minutes of hiking we arrive on his land inaccessible by car.
Previously I had carried out the cartographic analysis (topology, geology) of the place. And I have good hopes of finding the veinlet sensed from a distance on the plan. A huge rock separated the two properties, that of the neighbor and that of my client. On one side of the rock, the source of the neighbor he refused to share.
I proceed to research on the land of my client, already undermined by their many dry holes, and there I find this feeling of a trickle of water...estimate less than 2 m and the estimated flow rate less than 100l/h!! ! that is to say almost nothing compared to the flow rates to which I am used above 3m3/h and at least 40m deep! We dug immediately using a 2m manual auger, the top of the water was at 1.70m but we were immediately unable to empty the water hole, the flow rate calculation could not be realized. I learned that even in this village lost in a cul-de-sac, in the mountains, far from everything, there are always neighborhood and water-related conflicts.
Accuracy: it is rationally impossible to determine the depths to the nearest decimetre.
A somewhat special search.
Depth estimated at 175/185m for a flow rate of 5 to 6 m3/h. Water reached at 170m, without counting the reserve in the aquifer, where finally, we had 5 m3/h after installation of the pump. Problem... the water never came up during the drilling! Only the instruments made it possible to verify its presence. The installation of the pump finally made it possible to appreciate fresh and clear water.
The explanation is a very fractured basement; when the driller injected air under high pressure (30 bars) the water left immediately in the fractures. This is an infrequent situation, and there, only the expertise of the driller will make the difference between the one who will say that there is no water and the one who knows how to read his instruments and the geology.
Once again, the dowser/driller relationship and trust in each other is decisive.
It was on this site that I had the chance to work with a very famous European landscaper. When the water came out of the borehole, he turned to the few people gathered, haranguing: "Bruno, now I believe in dowsers". A very nice reward.
Here is a particular research that we, Michel and I, want to share with you. This Monegasque adventure begins with the summoning of Michel Hennique by the largest European construction group. He then invited me to this research.
It was spread over two years (2018 & 2019) and in two stages. Find the path of one of the underground rivers which risked weakening the foundations of a 25-storey tower. The capture of this river fed part of the Principality of Monaco.
Before our intervention, this group had carried out on its own initiative ten reconnaissance drillings in order to find this river. None of these boreholes had found the entry point under the construction site. Following a working meeting on the real estate site with all the construction partners, it was decided to entrust the dowsers with the mission of finding this underground river. We carried out the prospecting using a traditional remote approach and using the construction plans made available by the construction engineers. The research protocol had previously been submitted to all staff in August 2018. It was based in particular on our double-blind research.
The result of this survey revealed a 6.5m wide fracture with an estimated flow rate of more than 50m3/h at 67m depth.
On the basis of this prospecting, the BTP group has undertaken major work to channel and redirect this underground river into the Monegasque water network.
These works having been undertaken; a year later, we were again called upon to carry out a survey of all the water inlets located upstream and likely to cross the real estate site, to understand the deviations and the new paths following the work carried out. The work was carried out on public roads and 14 points were referenced on the sidewalks and around the main avenue. We gave an estimate of the flow and depth of each, finalized by a GPS survey.
Following our research, piezometers were installed to monitor the levels of water flows.
Mission accomplished with the very warm gratitude of the group, for the successful work.
Marcel PAGNOL and his grandson Nicolas
The story begins with an incredible call to Michel HENNIQUE. Nicolas PAGNOL (Marcel PAGNOL's grandson) contacts him. The wish is simple: Nicolas wishes to rehabilitate the bancaus of his grandfather Marcel. Indeed this part of land shelters the ancestral olive grove today in arid soil.
Michel, with whom I have the chance and the privilege of exchanging very regularly, tells me about this improbable call. I can't hide my emotion from him. After this exchange, I ask him if I could accompany him on this prospecting. The strong and sincere friendship that binds us did the rest. Indeed, child of the country, it is my land, my Provence and PAGNOL represents for me, my culture, my roots, its films which I watch regularly, this accent of my home, its colorful characters, these passionate dialogues , these tirades in a refined French, unfortunately very badly conducted today, the summers under the arbor and all the friendship and warmth of the people here .... my native land to which I am very attached.
This is where research begins with the traditional and unavoidable technical approach. The search for hydrogeological information is linked and the remote work on the plan allows us to refine the area. We anticipate the passage of the drill, look for bypasses... The narrowness of the roads seems impassable to us. Nicolas called on a local driller who finally found a solution with his machines adapted to traffic in these circumstances and on these paths. Indeed it is necessary to find the right weight / dimension / power. The company with which Michel and I usually work in this sector only has trucks of around 20T....impossible to bring them.
When the big day came, Nicolas was waiting for us there. The feeling is immediate. We are joined by the driller a few tens of minutes later, on the start of prospecting. As usual, Michel and I are working double-blind. One does not look at what the other does, then we compare. We are dealing with very faulty ground. Michel and I exchange on the best location, on the beginning/end of veins. Then the depth/flow estimates. We are almost similar: 120m / 130m - 2 to 3 m3/H It's time for Nicolas and the driller to leave.
Michel and I continue prospecting in the parking lot, which has emptied. There, no doubt, we have a frank, well-marked common vein, and not multiple fractures as further on. The depth/rate estimates are identical. We will retain this vein, for two reasons: the accessibility of the drill and our similarity in the layout. It was time to return, not without a certain emotion and the feeling of having paid a special tribute to Marcel PAGNOL, on his land.
Thank you Marcel!