How to Make Millions from a Secret Creek

said on September 19th, 2010 filed under: Country Property, Water Wells, Septic Systems, Sewers, Electric Power, Whimsy

There is a nondescript little creek that meanders along the perimeter of Sierra College in Placer County, California.  How much water flows throught that creek?  How much money is that water worth?

About ten years ago I was a member of a team that measured “Secret Creek” to answer those questions.  Using a graphing technique we constructed a cross section drawing of the creek.  The cross section we chose as representative of the creek was about 12 feet wide and no more than 1.71 feet deep.  The creek averaged about a foot and a half deep.  You can wade across it without getting your knees wet.  Like I said, nondescript.  It just burbled along, minding its own business, not raging rapids, just sort of . . . well . . . creek-like.

Measuring Secret Creek

Using several analytic steps I’m not going to bore you with, we determined that the volume of the creek was about 25 cubic feet per second.

Prepare to be amazed!

volume of flow per hour in cubic feet = 90, 144 cubic feet

volume of flow per hour in gallons = 674,277 gallons

volume of flow per day in gallons = 16,182,648 gallons

volume of flow per year in gallons = 5,906,666,520 gallons (look at that number again) 

From that little pissant creek?  How much is it worth?

volume of flow per year in acre-feet = 18,142 acre-feet per year

value of 1 year flow ($200/acre-feet) = $3,628,400.

S0, friends, if you have a little creek on your property, you will be a millionaire 3 times over in just a year.

(Oh, I forgot to mention one thing.  You have to get that water to the buyer.)

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not subscribe to be notified of the next one?

To find out more about real estate in the Golden Hills of the Sierras, just call Bob at (530-906-1023) or CJ at (530-9064715) or email us at or

Leave a Reply