"Water is not an inalienable right. It's a commodity," insists Thomas Kruzshak. "The product already exists, and the market certainly exists. What better opportunity for the technologist and the businessman?"

In the old days, Kruzshak, project manager for BCI Geonetics Inc., of Laconia, N.H., would probably have been a dowser, one of those legendary folk fabled for divining the presence of groundwater with intuition and a forked stick. Today people still need water, but the forked stick is no longer considered a credible technology. And BCI, unlike the grizzled water-wizards of yesteryear, offers a guarantee.

BCI was founded in the early 1970s by Robert Bisson, an oceanographer, and a small group of physical scientists and exploration technologists. They wanted to use state-of-the-art technology, including satellite and aerial phtotography, computer imaging, and electro-magnetic and seismic exploration, to map natural resources -- primarily water -- in New England's bedrock. But the company does more than find water: It offers a no-risk, turnkey water supply -- site exploration and development, site leasing, drilling, and pumping -- to communities and businesses willing to guarantee that they will buy a fixed amount of water over a 20-year period and pay the cost of electricity for the pumpingIn the past four years, BCI has developed almost two dozen water supplies. In New Hampshire alone, BCI wells are supplying more than 3.5 million gallons of water a day. "And all the exploration is on our nickel," Kruzshak explains. "We develop the water, and they pay for what they need."