Willard Holmes, an eastern engineer, comes west to assist his unscrupulous stepfather in the execution of a vast desert irrigation project, and he meets Barbara Worth, adopted daughter of banker Jefferson Worth, who originated the reclamation plan. Holmes's stepfather, Greenfield, builds a cheap and dangerous intake at the river to fleece the settlers of their money. Worth moves away to form another city, offering the settlers free land and water. The avaricious Greenfield shuts off Worth's credit and breeds discontent among his workers. To bring money, Holmes and Abe Lee make a desperate ride across the mountains and succeed, though Lee is wounded. Greenfield's dam overflows and floods his town, but Holmes succeeds in building a new dam and marries Barbara.