From Divining Rods to Statistics: A Forensic Analysis of the Misuse of Statistics in the Estimation of Environmental Impact

R. A. Weitzman

Most experts who search for underground water no longer use divining rods—they use statistics to estimate the water levels in aquifers below specific sites on the ground. Unfortunately, users of statistics can also misuse them, sometimes with costly consequences. This is the story of how statistics were applied as a forensic tool to identify misuse in estimating the impact of a proposed public project on groundwater levels.

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