Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“1. Stay active. Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when your arthritis hurts, but many studies show that physical activity is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life. 2. Eat a balanced diet. Studies show that a variety of nutrients may help ease arthritis symptoms. 3. Lose weight. Being overweight puts undue strain on weight-bearing joints such as your knees, spine, hips, ankles, and feet. 5. Use hot or cold packs. By increasing blood flow, hot compresses can ease pain and stiffness. 6. Keep pain under control. Over-the-counter medications can help ease arthritis pain. 7. Talk to your doctor about supplements and complementary medicine. Many supplements have been tested for the treatment of arthritis. 8. Try splints, braces, and other aids. Devices that support painful joints, such as splints, braces, and canes can help ease your discomfort and prevent injury. 9. Seek support. Living with arthritis isn’t easy. Finding other people that you can talk to and share ideas with can help. Check out arthritis support groups online or in your area. 10. Stay positive. Your mental outlook can have a big impact on how you feel, and how well you function. #SelfCare #Osteoarthritis #Arthritis #Disability #GoodHealth #PainRelief #SeniorCommunity #Caregiver #Caregiving #WECANHELP #OlderAdult #SeniorCare #SeniorLiving #SeniorServices #SeniorHousing #AlwaysBestCare #Exercise #SelfManaging #Tips”

Always B.

“Always Best Care has some of the friendliest staff. They are quick to learn & eager to assist. Great schedulers who are on top of managing the schedules & keeping their employees accountable. I sure appreciate all the help they give!”


“I can leave a long review if I wanted to . I can talk about always best cares credentials and talk about mine. But What’s the point of leaving a review if it sounds like everybody else’s. The bottom line is , that they are great at their jobs from the bottom to the top. They have a process and people in place . They keep accountability and are communicative . Ive represented many companies in the past and still do till this day contract with only the best.. If you feel you want to hear more about this company on a deeper level just lmk. Happy Healthy Safe”

Jay R.

“I like working for ABC because it works well with my busy nursing school schedule! I also like how I get to work on my own, but there are options to work with other CNAs for the care of some of the clients. It’s the best of both worlds! I’ve been with Always best care since 2021 and have thoroughly enjoyed working with the clients I work with!”

Olivia S.

“Love always best care ❤️”

Breezy H.

“Amazing business. Staff are helpful and kind.”

Margot K.

“Always Best Care is always best!!! Highly recommended! Brent listens and hears what we need for my 94 year old mom and matches caregivers accordingly. Sometimes, the schedule changes and he works to fill the needs immediately and always with a great attitude! The caregivers are compassionate. Again, I highly recommend Always Best Care.”

shell S.

“They are seriously so amazing to work with and really care for their clients. I came to them with some pretty difficult challenges that I was not sure we could work with but they were able to make it happen and truly did more than I thought was even possible. I highly recommend them.”

Mandy M.

“Love working for this company”

Christina P.

“Love them! Staff is always super sweet and easy to work with! Highly recommend.”

Olivia L.

“As an employee of this company I could not ask for a better team to work with. They work with schedules, are understanding caring and all around amazing people. The clients are wonderful and have nothing but good things to say. They treat you as family and care from day one!”

Cassandra O.

“Always Best Care has provided caregivers for my mother and now my father for the last year. They always send the best people to take care of them and give me peace of mind when I have to be at work. I highly recommend them if you’re seeking care for anyone in need.”

Salle A.

“Alway best care! They are so giving and caring to their staff and clients❤️❤️❤️”

Brianne W.

“I've been using ABC for about 2 1/2 years and have really met some wonderful people and great caregivers. I know they all work hard and are experienced and dependable which is important to me. At times I've needed a flexible schedule and they've been able to accommodate my needs and been very friendly about it. At times I've also had to ask these caregivers to do things for me outside of their job description and they've been very accommodating. Brent is also been great to follow up with phone calls and help adjust my schedule when needed. I do recommend this company.”

Jim J.

“The best home health company that I have ever worked for. Friendly office staff, great scheduler, and the kindest CNA’s and workers that I know.”

Jenny J.

“I work with Always Best Care and they're always flexible with my schedule. Everyone there is very nice and understanding and I enjoy working with ABC.”

Anna S.

“Always Best Care has been an amazing company to work for! They are flexible with my schedule being a single mom and I can tell they are always putting their clients and the individuals that they care for, the needs and their happiness above all else. I know they care for every individual that they have and they make sure their staff are the same way!”

Aubrey S.

“Always best is such an incredible company! They are so accommodating to all of the needs of their clients and do their best to help any way that they can. They are reliable and really seem to care. I would recommend Always Best to anyone looking for these kinds of services!”

Anni H.

“Always best care has been warm and welcoming. They start off with a really good pay start and they also give really good hours and are very flexible with my work and school schedule. They are very kind even throughout my shifts they will sometimes ask me how my shifts went and make sure I’m doing ok and even through the holidays they send me messages or cards wishing me the best of holidays and always making me feel part of their family and business. And if I have any questions or concerns they are always supportive and always there for me I definitely recommend working hear and also I love working there my clients are all very nice and if you are ever looking for help always best care is the best place to call.”

Mackenzie C.

“I work for Always Best Care now and have for some time now. I love how much people care about their clients and how the company is always there if we need something or have questions about something. This is one of the best places I have worked in the last 6 years of being a CNA. I love that the clients are the top priority to not just me but the whole team as well.!”

Ashley O.

“Great company”

kathy N.

“Always Best Care are the people to go to! Julie and Henry Lee are amazing people to work with!”

Bentley S.

“Very caring, and great to work with!”

Jeff S.

“I have used this company for a few of my residents. They take such good care of their clients and do such a good job at taking the time with each and every one of them. They go above and beyond for their clients. I’d definitely recommend them!”

Kaylee N.
 In-Home Care Pine Valley, UT

How does In-home Senior Care in Pine Valley, UT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

Request More Informationright-arrow-light
 Senior Care Pine Valley, UT

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Pine Valley, UT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Pine Valley, UT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Pine Valley, UT

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Pine Valley,UT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Pine Valley, UT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Pine Valley, UT

Conservationists question need for Cedar City's Pine Valley water pipeline

Associated PressA coalition of water conservation groups that opposes plans to pipe groundwater out of a valley near the Utah-Nevada line contends that southern Utah water officials are artificially inflating the need for additional supply to justify spending hundreds of millions on a pipeline.In order to prepare for population growth in southern Utah's Cedar Valley, officials from the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District want to spend roughly $260 million to construct about 70 miles (113 kilometers) of...

Associated Press

A coalition of water conservation groups that opposes plans to pipe groundwater out of a valley near the Utah-Nevada line contends that southern Utah water officials are artificially inflating the need for additional supply to justify spending hundreds of millions on a pipeline.

In order to prepare for population growth in southern Utah's Cedar Valley, officials from the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District want to spend roughly $260 million to construct about 70 miles (113 kilometers) of buried pipes to transport water from an aquifer that sits below the Pine Valley. They argue limits on their local groundwater supply and an influx of new residents require them to diversify their water supply to prepare for the future.

The project has long been opposed by neighboring Beaver County, Native Americans including the Indian Peaks Band of the Paiute Tribe of Utah, and Nevada counties worried siphoning water from Pine Valley will affect nearby aquifers.

An analysis published on Wednesday by the Great Basin Water Network, Utah Rivers Council and Iron County Water Conservatives suggests that the district is overestimating future demand. Representatives of the groups suggest expanding conservation measures would be more cost-effective water management than building the pipeline.

“The reason that future water demand matters, of course, is because it’s future government spending,” said Zach Frankel, the Executive Director of the Utah Rivers Council.

Frankel argues that modest conservation could render the pipeline unneeded and avoid charging ratepayers and taxpayers for it.

More:The Water Tap: Another Utah water district advances its reach for water

He and other researchers also question the water district's 2020 management plan because it uses figures published in 2012 by the University of Utah's Kem Gardner Policy Institute. Those decade-old figures project Iron County's population will reach 154,000 by 2070. However, last month, the institute analyzed new census data and projected the population will only grow to 105,000, 46% less than projected a decade ago.

The district calculates future water demand by multiplying projected population by water consumption per capita. The conservationists argue that in Iron County, where agriculture — primarily alfalfa growers — uses 75% of water, the conversion of farmland into subdivisions “almost always frees up significant quantities of surplus water.”

“It has been well established that as population increases, agricultural water use decreases. This occurs because as populations grow, they expand outward from urban centers, turning agricultural lands into strip malls, subdivisions, parking lots, and other less-water intensive landscapes,” they write in the report.

Paul Monroe, the General Manager of the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District, said the Cedar City area had historically outpaced growth projections from the state and Gardner Institute. However, as the project moves through environmental impact review and federal approval processes, the district may add in the updated figures, he said.

More:Iron County water district addresses concerns over water future, environmental costs

He said the current supply wouldn't suffice because of limits put in place to protect the Cedar Valley aquifer and ensure it can recharge amid drought.

“We need additional supply for the current residents that are here, as well as those that are coming in the future,” Monroe said.

Small wildfire breaks out on Gardner Peak in Pine Valley above St. George

A new fire has started on Gardner Peak in the popular Pine Valley Recreation Area just north of St. George.No residential areas have yet been evacuated, though the fire is within two miles of the town of Pine Valley so inhabitants of this area should remain alert and ready to leave.As of Thursday evening, the fire was estimated at 41 acres and had been zero percent contained. For now the Canal, Gardner Peak, Water Canyon and Cemetery trails have been closed.The fire is thought to have started early Wednesd...

A new fire has started on Gardner Peak in the popular Pine Valley Recreation Area just north of St. George.

No residential areas have yet been evacuated, though the fire is within two miles of the town of Pine Valley so inhabitants of this area should remain alert and ready to leave.

As of Thursday evening, the fire was estimated at 41 acres and had been zero percent contained. For now the Canal, Gardner Peak, Water Canyon and Cemetery trails have been closed.

The fire is thought to have started early Wednesday morning and was first publicized by Utah Fire Info on Thursday evening. According to the Bureau of Land Management's Incident Contact Rachel Carnahan, the fire has been determined to be human-caused. It joins a long list of wildfires that have taken place throughout Utah already this year, 80 percent of which are thought to be human-caused.

"Fire managers would like to remind the public that fire restrictions on the Dixie National Forest are still in place," Carnahan said.

Southern Utah currently has one other active fire, the Cougar Fire, which is now 90 percent contained at 476 acres in Hamlin Valley within Beaver County. Throughout Utah, there are now a total of seven active wildfires burning.

MORE:Cougar Fire growing slowly in Beaver County's Hamlin Valley

The fire behavior was described as "torching, running and spotting." Suppression is being managed via both ground and aerial approaches.

"Conditions are unseasonably hot and dry, leading to extreme fire behavior and fire suppression difficulties," Carnahan said. "Nationally we are at a Preparedness Level of 5, so firefighting resources are limited nation-wide."

At nearly 7,000 feet of elevation, the Pine Valley Recreation Area is a popular destination for Washington County residents seeking to escape triple digit summer temperatures down below.

Situated within the Dixie National Forest, it features several campgrounds, nearby fishing opportunities and an extensive trail network for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Joan Meiners is an Environment Reporter for The Spectrum & Daily News through the Report for America initiative by The GroundTruth Project. Follow her on Twitter at @beecycles or email her at [email protected].

Pine Valley Water Supply Project, other Iron County water topics discussed at public meeting

CEDAR CITY — Local officials gathered at the Great Hall of Southern Utah University’s Hunter Conference Center to talk about water Tuesday night.A crowd of approximately 400 people filled the room to hear panelists discuss issues and answer questions about a variety of water-related topics. The 90-minute public meeting, titled “Critical Water Challenges and Proposed Solutions,” was hosted by the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District.Tyler Melling, water district board member and...

CEDAR CITY — Local officials gathered at the Great Hall of Southern Utah University’s Hunter Conference Center to talk about water Tuesday night.

A crowd of approximately 400 people filled the room to hear panelists discuss issues and answer questions about a variety of water-related topics. The 90-minute public meeting, titled “Critical Water Challenges and Proposed Solutions,” was hosted by the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District.

Tyler Melling, water district board member and Cedar City Council member, first welcomed everyone and thanked them for their attendance.

“Tonight, we’re going to talk about water issues that apply to our whole county and some of the work the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District is doing in cooperation with the cities in our county and with the state to help ensure the water future of our county,” Melling said.

A 10-minute video was then shown, during which Paul Monroe, the water district’s general manager, talked about various key challenges along with some proposed solutions.

The past two years have been the second-driest consecutive years in Cedar City’s 127-year history, he said, noting that 2021 is also the second-warmest year on record, with extreme drought conditions persisting.

The water conservancy district’s three main areas of focus are conservation, recharge and reuse and importing water, Monroe said during the video.

After the video, Monroe talked about the water district’s planned Pine Valley Water Supply Project, which proponents say will bring an estimated 15,000 acre feet of water annually from the Pine Valley area in a remote part of western Beaver County via approximately 50 miles of pipeline to Cedar Valley.

The project, which is still in the environmental impact study phase, has an estimated price tag of $260 million, he said, adding that if that cost were to be paid by only the current water users in the Cedar Valley, it would amount to an additional $46 per month for each of the area’s 20,000 water customers. However, he noted that other factors, such as projected population growth, impact fees, federal grants and better interest rates, could help lower the anticipated costs.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to the panel discussion, moderated by local radio host Chris Holmes. Joining Monroe on stage were four other panelists: Cedar City Council member Terri Hartley, Enoch City Manager Rob Dotson, Southern Utah University economics professor David Tufte and Utah Division of Water Rights engineer Nathan Moses.

The panelists were collectively asked nearly a dozen questions, which had been submitted in advance by members of the public. Following are a few of the highlights among the various responses.

‘As we have crisis, we also have innovation’

When asked why cities continued to issue building permits if water is so scarce, Dotson said that cities “cannot deny development.”

“In fact, recently the state code changed so that there’s no such thing as a moratorium on land use,” he said, adding that they must work within those parameters.

“We cannot stop growth, but we can wisely get the resources available so that people can use their property to the highest use of the highest value.”

Regarding the cost of the project, Hartley noted that the proposed Pine Valley Water Supply Project has an estimated cost of $17,333 per annual acre foot, which she said compares favorably to estimates for other proposed water projects.

Tufte spoke of the expected hike in users’ water bills that would result from the Pine Valley Water Supply Project.

“Fifty bucks a month is not going to be fun, but I think that that will get the project costs covered,” he said. “I think to the extent to which we move some of those costs over onto new construction, that will lower the increase in bills for all the rest of us.”

In response later to a different question, Tufte said if Iron County wasn’t situated in the desert, “it would be something else that limited our growth, land availability or something like that,” he said. “But for us, it’s water.”

“There will come a point where Cedar City is as big as it possibly can be,” he said. “The Pine Valley pipeline and the water it brings is going to help put that off. It’s not going to eliminate that problem, but maybe if we’re judicious and we think about this over the next 50 years, maybe we can put ourselves in a better position.”

Hartley also addressed the issue of being judicious.

“We all need to do our part, and we can do better,” she said. “But if you look at this chart that’s in front of you, Iron County is actually already doing a pretty good job of that. We are the fourth-lowest water user of the 29 counties in Utah, and we compare very favorably to our neighboring counties.”

Along the lines of usage, Moses said the projected safe yield of Cedar Valley’s aquifer is 21,000 acre feet per year, but users have been pumping out 28,000, resulting in a net depletion of 7,000 acre feet per year. He then went into the details of the state’s groundwater management plan and how it will impact water rights over the next 50 years.

Tufte said the reality is that a meeting like that which was held Tuesday maybe should’ve been held “in 1970, 1980 or 1990.”

“We didn’t do that,” he said, “so we’re doing it now, which is a good thing.”

Other concerns that have been raised in regard to the Pine Valley Water Supply Project deal with environmental impacts. Monroe said precautions are already being taken and will continue to be implemented to minimize any negative effects on potentially sensitive species, such as the least chub, a concern previously reported on by St. George News / Cedar City News.

Engineer Kelly Crane, who was seated near the front of the audience and was invited by Monroe to weigh in, then explained that the livestock and wildlife in the Pine Valley area get their water from surface springs, also known as perched springs, which he said are separate from the water in the underground aquifer.

Other topics mentioned during the meeting include ramping up conservation efforts for both residences and business and using more efficient watering systems for growing crops, something which is the topic of a study being conducted by Utah State University at the SUU farm.

Toward the end of the meeting, Dotson expressed his optimism that solutions can be found.

“Everybody is working in their own realm to come up with solutions,” he said. “I know that as we have crisis, we also have innovation. And innovations are going to come. There’s a lot of smart people around us that know more than we all do.”

In a preview news release announcing Tuesday’s event, Monroe had shared similar ideas.

“We realize there is still more to do, and we are open to new ideas and solutions,” Monroe said in the statement. “Never has it been more important to optimize every drop of water in Cedar Valley and to create sustainable solutions for the future.”

He added that, “in the end, plans are in place, our community is resilient and we are going to be okay.”

Event organizers on Tuesday said if there are any additional questions that were not adequately addressed during the meeting, members of the public are invited to submit them by clicking on the green button on the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District webpage, and answers will be posted on the site later.

To watch a video recording of the meeting on YouTube, click here.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Western water war: Neighboring counties in Utah fighting over precious resource

ark Wintch relies on a spring to run his ranching and farming operation in a remote section of Utah’s Beaver County in a place called Wah Wah Valley.The spring feeds his hydroelectric plant that supplies energy to his home and irrigation pivots on land his great-grandfather homesteaded in the late 1800s.“We have shed blood, sweat and tears for over 100 years to build something out here,” he says.This is dry country, with this particular swath of Utah locked in extreme or severe drought.“We&...

ark Wintch relies on a spring to run his ranching and farming operation in a remote section of Utah’s Beaver County in a place called Wah Wah Valley.

The spring feeds his hydroelectric plant that supplies energy to his home and irrigation pivots on land his great-grandfather homesteaded in the late 1800s.

“We have shed blood, sweat and tears for over 100 years to build something out here,” he says.

This is dry country, with this particular swath of Utah locked in extreme or severe drought.

“We’re at ground zero for the drought,” Wintch said. “Water is gold. That was the real gold rush of the West — water, in my opinion.”

Wintch fears his family legacy will dry up if a proposed groundwater pumping project gets federal approval to proceed.

“I’m immensely concerned,” he said. “The spring is my everything.”

Neighboring Iron County in southwestern Utah is immensely concerned as well, hoping to rectify a dire water shortage for its residents that is setting the blueprint for a western desert conflict by going after water in Beaver County, where it secured water rights from the Utah state engineer.

“Our water situation is pretty serious,” said Brent Hunter, chairman of the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District, adding that if the district does not get more water, practically every acre of agricultural land will dry up in the future.

Like Wintch, Hunter farms alfalfa on land that has become increasingly challenged by drought, which is unleashing a new intensity of water conflict in the West.

The district is operating in an annual water supply deficit of 7,000 acre feet, and the extremely arid conditions are making it worse.

It wants to tap groundwater supplies from 10 production wells on federally managed land — in Beaver County’s Pine Valley — which is just over the hill from Wintch’s place. At some point, the district could also move into Millard County for water there.

“You just don’t go file on a neighboring county’s resource,” complained Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney. “You can have all the water rights in the world, but if the resource isn’t there, it isn’t there.”

A groundwater management plan instituted by the state of Utah will further restrict Iron County’s ability to deliver water and over 50 years will shave two-thirds of the water rights that have been appropriated in the district, Hunter said.

Overpumping of an aquifer in Cedar Valley spurred the reductions, which is setting up this fight.

“I think this is the existential crisis for communities in the west desert because you have one community that wants to continue its behavior without any consequences and they are asking another community to bear those consequences,” said Kyle Roerink, executive director of the Great Basin Water Network, an advocacy group striving to protect water and other natural resources in the region.

The Pine Valley Water Project, which is in the early stages of review under the Bureau of Land Management and public comment, involves 66 miles of proposed pipeline and a 35 megawatt solar field on 200 acres of land to provide energy for the pumping. Overall, Iron County owns 640 acres that would support another five wells and is seeking a right of way on federal land.

“What makes this rather exciting is the renewable energy component to pump that water to Cedar Valley. It is a remote basin, in a remote valley and environmentally it just makes sense,” district manager Paul Monroe said.

But the district’s critics say the project is being pursued when it has failed to do enough in the arena of conservation, such as turf replacement programs or other water-saving measures.

Monroe countered that “turf” is not a big factor in the district’s water use, but said it is working to develop that program. He added the district has worked with farmers and ranchers to achieve a 20% reduction in water use and has installed seven recharge basins to divert water so it does not make it into a dry lake bed and instead can be used on fields and farms. It has partnered with Utah State University and Southern Utah University to develop greater efficiencies through an agricultural optimization grant.

Steve Erickson, with the Great Basin Water Resource Network, likened the project to a “water grab,” much like the yearslong battle Utah, several of those counties and border counties in Nevada fought over a proposed groundwater pumping plan in Snake Valley, which straddles both states.


“We are going to fight them tooth and nail just like we did the Las Vegas water grab,” Erickson said. “They may own the water rights from the state engineer, but it is our contention that groundwater is already being put to use.”

The network pointed out that pumping in the Pine and Wah Wah valleys will potentially impact an interconnected hydrologic basin the size of Vermont and not only affect a relatively shallow aquifer system in Utah but seep into neighboring Nevada as well and impact flows to the Great Salt Lake.

With Snake Valley, contention and court challenges over the planned groundwater pumping project by the Southern Utah Nevada Water Authority asserted what happens in one basin when it comes to water withdrawals does not stay in that basin — it has far rippling effects.

“I find it very appalling that the citizens of Cedar City and the surrounding area would try to save their valley by raping other valleys of their water,” Wintch said.

Hunter said Iron County rightfully filed on the water rights in neighboring Beaver County and negotiated a settlement with Beaver County after litigation.

“This is the best option we have to secure our water supply,” he said. “We think whatever water we take from there would barely make a dent. Beaver County is just mad about it because they didn’t think of it first.”

Groundwater is a critical player in U.S. water supplies, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which points out about half the country’s population depends on it for drinking water. It is the source for nearly all the country’s rural areas and provides more than 50 billion gallons a day for agricultural needs.

But with those withdrawals come the risk of groundwater depletion, in which sustained pumping leads to a drawdown in the water “bank account” that cannot be sustained because more water is being taken out than what is being replenished.

While a concern in Utah and southwestern states like Arizona, groundwater depletion has been a problem in many areas throughout the United States, including the Great Lakes Watershed where Chicago has been using groundwater since 1864. The geological survey said it is the sole source of drinking water supplies for more than 8.2 million people in the watershed and the long-term pumping has dropped water levels there by as much as 900 feet.

As part of its environmental review, the Bureau of Land Management acknowledged the primary concern of the Pine Valley project is the withdrawal of groundwater, with seven monitoring wells that are part of the proposal as well as “adaptive management,” strategies that will be reviewed.

The district contends the Pine Valley pumping project is sustainable and the monitoring plan will be protective. The plan proposes to tap 15,000 acre feet of water annually from Pine Valley and take 6,500 feet from Wah Wah Valley as growth occurs.

“We have done everything right. We followed the law every step of the way. I guess they feel they are stealing their water. It is not their water. It belongs to the people of the state of Utah,” Hunter said.

Roerink says that view doesn’t do a drought challenged area a lot of good in the long term.

“Are we going to continue to be myopic and it will be too late or will we be proactive?” he asked. “What it all comes down to is Mother Nature isn’t making what it used to.”

Southern Utah’s fall foliage puts on a dramatic show

Southern Utah’s fall color spectacular rivals better-known seasonal displays found elsewhere in the country — and is much closer and easier for Southern Nevadans to enjoy.Visitors may plan several short trips to enjoy weeks of autumn color by starting in Utah’s high country and following the color to lower elevations as the season progresses. The show often lingers until around Veterans Day, especially in protected canyons and along rivers and creeks.The color began to show up in late September on Utah’s...

Southern Utah’s fall color spectacular rivals better-known seasonal displays found elsewhere in the country — and is much closer and easier for Southern Nevadans to enjoy.

Visitors may plan several short trips to enjoy weeks of autumn color by starting in Utah’s high country and following the color to lower elevations as the season progresses. The show often lingers until around Veterans Day, especially in protected canyons and along rivers and creeks.

The color began to show up in late September on Utah’s high plateaus in places like Zion National Park north of Zion Canyon toward Cedar Breaks and Brian Head, in Bryce Canyon National Park, in the Pine Valley Mountains and in the forests east of Beaver.

Barring early frosts, the high-elevation color usually peaks around mid-October. The high country north of Zion and east of Cedar City offers miles of good highways through pine and fir forests edged with meadows and broken by stands of white-trunked aspen that take on fiery hues in the fall. Mountain meadows may still be bright with late-season wildflowers, as well.

This region is about a four-hour drive from Southern Nevada, following Interstate 15 north to Cedar City and then east on state Route 14 through Cedar Canyon to reach the 10,000-foot plateau.

Panoramic views of the colorful countryside are found along Route 14 at the Zion Overlook and at the high promontory of Brian Head Peak just off the road from Cedar Breaks National Monument.

If you have time, head for the town of Panguitch on a backcountry byway bright with autumn color. It starts near Cedar Breaks and threads through the high country past Panguitch Lake and down to the town along a lovely stream.


Sign up for free entertainment email alerts

By signing up you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Unsubscribe at any time.

Utah Route 12, one of the most scenic highways in the country, heads east from U.S. Highway 89 near Panguitch to reach several state parks, as well as Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks. As the highway approaches the town of Boulder, this unforgettable roadway courses along a narrow clifftop that falls away dramatically on either side. Colorful during any season because of the vivid sandstone formations along the way, this drive is apt to induce sensory overload in the fall with the added brilliance of the changing leaves in Dixie National Forest.

The road through the historic town of Pine Valley ends in a high forested area with campgrounds, several trailheads and a stream. The area is bright with color in the autumn. The network of hiking and equestrian trails offers opportunities for exploration before winter snows cover the fallen leaves.

Autumn lingers at lower elevations long after the first bright leaves have fallen in the high country. Look for late-season autumn color in protected canyons such as the approach to the high country along Route 14 and the descent from the forested highlands toward scenic U.S. 89 through the Sevier River Valley.

Margo Bartlett Pesek’s column appears on Sundays.


This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.