Web-based Conservation Tracking System Development
Progress reporting made easier
Dating back as early as 1986, the Board of Water & Soil Resources (BWSR) has required reports from local units of government that indicate progress made in protecting the state's resources. Throughout the years, the method to complete this reporting has changed, first from paper reports (1986-1996), to floppy disk submission (1997-2002) and finally to the online eLINK database (2003-2012).
In 2012, BWSR started development of a new web-based system to track statewide conservation to replace dated technology and address increased demands. This new system was completed in 2013 and can be accessed here:
Click Here to Log in to eLINK
User accounts from the original eLINK system were migrated to the new system. To access an existing account for the first time, click Forgot Password on the log in screen, enter your username and email, and click Reset Password. A new system-generated password will be emailed to you. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, please follow the steps below for forgotten usernames.
If you do not remember your eLINK username, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line of "Account Assistance" and provide your name and the organization under which you were registered, or the organization for which you work.
With eLINK, BWSR, local government partners, and stakeholders in conservation can track conservation projects and grants, indicators and pollution reduction benefits, cumulative grant funding over a period of years, and map locations of projects on a statewide, or on a county, watershed, or individual-project basis.
eLINK Training Modules
- Developing a Biennial Budget Request (BBR) in eLINK: This seven-minute module demonstrates how to create and submit a Biennial Budget Request in eLINK.
- Linking Activities in eLINK: Seven-minute module describing how to link an activity to multiple grants in eLINK.
- Creating a Work Plan in eLINK: Eight-minute module describing the process for completing a work plan in eLNK.
- Progress Reporting in eLINK: Three-minute module demonstrating the process for submitting a progress report in eLINK.
- Developing Grant Applications in eLINK: A 13-minute online module describing how to complete a grant application using the new eLINK system. The table of contents feature of the module allows you to view the entire module, or just the sections that interest you.
- Accessing Grant Agreements in eLINK: This module demonstrates how to access grant agreements within eLINK.
- Biennial Budget Request (BBR): provides basic guidance to completing and submitting a Biennial Budget Request in eLINK. (posted February 23, 2016)
- eLINK Reporting at a Glance: (posted Dec. 11, 2014) - This is reference of basic reporting elements that are expected to be entered in eLINK. Additional program reporting details may also be required.
- Flex Spending Across NRBG Allocations: This document provides guidance on reporting activities and spending when flexing spending across BWSR-administered NRBG Allocations (Shoreland, Wetland Conservation Act, and Local Water Management).
- eLINK Overview: highlights some of the features, definitions, and decision-making associated with changes in the new eLINK system. (posted May 11, 2016)
- Setting up an Account: provides basic information for getting started in eLINK. (posted June 10, 2013)
- Managing Contacts: provides basic instruction for viewing and editing contact and organization information. (posted June 10, 2013)
- Apply for a Grant: outlines the generic steps for creating a grant application – see individual requests for proposals and program policies for specific information. (updated September 27, 2013)
- Accessing and Completing a Grant Agreement: provides guidance on how to access, complete, and submit a grant agreement from BWSR. (posted August 15, 2013)
- Creating a Workplan: outlines the generic steps for creating a workplan for awarded grants – see individual requests for proposals and program policies for specific information. (updated January 2016)
- Creating a NPEA Workplan: Provides specific guidance on how to develop the workplan for the Non-Point Engineering Assistance (NPEA) grant. (posted November 30, 2015)
- Creating an SWCD Local Capacity Services Workplan: Provides specific guidance on how to develop the workplan for the SWCD Local Capcaity Services Grant. (posted November 30, 2015)
- Sample eLINK Workplan for SWCD Local Capacity Grants (posted February 17, 2016)
- Managing Activities: provides further detail on how to manage activities as part of workplans and reporting; including adding new activities, editing activities, and linking activities to more than one grant. (posted May 11, 2016)
- Progress Reporting: provides basic guidance on how to complete a progress report in eLINK. Progress reporting is a means to illustrate achievements and progress made towards grant program goals and to ensure accountability and transparency in the use of State funds. (updated November 2014)
- Queries and Reports: provides basic instructions for submitting reports, including payment requests, returning unspent grant funds, and finalizing a grant. (posted June 10, 2013)
- Chart of Practices by Activity Category : chart indicates which practices are available selections under each Activity Category in eLINK. (posted February 4, 2016)
- Activity Categories: provides a description of the categories used in eLINK filter details in the system and create reports where listing of individual activities is not necessary or appropriate outside the system. (posted February 4, 2016)
- Practices: provides a description of practices available for reporting under the Activity Details (posted February 4, 2016)
- Lumping and Splitting Activities: provides guidance on when to lump or split projects, tasks, or units of work into individual activities in eLINK. (posted January 14, 2015)
- Technical Approval Authority (TAA): provides basic guidance to Soil and Water Conservation Districts on how to track TAA in eLINK. (posted May 4, 2015)
- MinnFARM Reporting Guidance: provide guidance for reporting the Minnesota Feedlot Annualized Runoff Model (MinnFARM) pollution reduction estimates in eLINK.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
(Updated January 27, 2014)
Pollution Reduction Calculators
- Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS)
- Hydrologic Soil Group Tool
- Milk House Waste User's Guide
- Milk House Waste Estimator
- Choosing the Best Estimator (posted January 8, 2015)
- Septic System Improvement Estimator
- Septic System Improvement Estimator Users Guide
- Download BWSR Water Erosion Pollution Reduction Estimator (Excel)
- Instructions for using BWSR spreadsheet Pollution Reduction Estimator (Sept. 2009)
- RUSLE 2 (ARS) program and guidance
- MinnFARM (University of Minnesota Extension - Manure Management and Air Quality Education and Research)
- Wind Erosion Equation
- Wind Erosion Prediction System
eLINK Data Download
- eLINK Project Points (statewide project point locations - zipped shapefile) - Updated October 24, 2011