eLINK User Guidance Header

Purpose: This document provides basic guidance on how to complete a SWCD Capacity grant workplan in eLINK. Each grant program may have unique requirements for the content of a workplan, be sure to review any communications from BWSR about your grant prior to completing a workplan.  If you have any questions on the specific requirements for how to complete a workplan, please contact your board conservationist.

Creating a Grant Workplan

A workplan can only be created after receiving notification of grant award and workplan requirements. To create a workplan, find the approved grant on the Home page by either typing the Grant Title in the search field, or scanning for the grant (Stage/Status = Workplan – In Process) in the Grants window.  Select the workplan activities action icon  for the grant found in the Action column.  This will bring you to the Workplan Activities page with the Activities & Expenditures grid filtered by the grant selected. 

Creating the Workplan Activity Budget

  1. To begin developing your workplan budget, select the button “Add New Activity Budget” and take the following steps:
    1. Grant: This field will automatically list the grant record you are working within.
    2. Activity: Select “Create New Activity” from the dropdown.
    3. Activity Name: Capacity Grant activities use a naming convention that includes the resource need addressed and the expenditure type. BWSR recommends that users include the year of the activity in the name (Example: Riparian Zone Management – 2016 Technician).
      • Soil Erosion: Activities that get to “T” or less.  Examples include erosion and sediment control plans, HEL compliance, cost share and incentive payments, etc.
      • Riparian Zone Management: Activities that protect or enhance lakes, streams, ditches or waterways.  Examples include targeted buffers, technical and financial assistance to achieve compliance with existing regulations, streambank and shoreline protection, etc.
      • Water Storage and Treatment: Activities that reduce watershed runoff, rate and volume.  Examples include retention or detention, wetland restoration, perennial vegetation, etc.
      • Excess Nutrients: Activities that protect drinking water, protect and restore lake and stream quality and groundwater sustainability.  Examples are nutrient management, irrigation management, wellhead protection, etc.
    4. Budgeted Amount.  Enter budgeted amount for this activity.   
    5. Source Type. Select the applicable Source Type. 
      • Current State Grant: SWCD Capacity grant funds from BWSR will fall under this category.
      • Federal Funds: Do not use this category for SWCD Capacity grants.
      • State fund not in eLINK: Do not use this category for SWCD Capacity grants.
      • Landowner Funds: Do not use this category for SWCD Capacity grants.
      • Local Funds: Use this category for reporting FY17 County match.
    6. Source Description: This will auto-complete when Current State Grant is selected for source type.
    7. Match: This will auto-complete when Current State Grant is selected for source type.
    8. Which eligible resource need is addressed through this activity? Select from the options:
      • Soil Erosion,
      • Riparian Zone Management,
      • Water Storage and Treatment,
      • Excess Nutrients
    9. Which eligible expenditure category describes this activity? Select from the options:
      • Technology/Capital Expenditures
      • Cost Share/Incentives,
      • Staff
    10. Is this a continuation of an activity started under past funds? If “Yes”, check the box.
      Note: There is no need to link activities unless the activity is a continuation of an on-the-ground cost share project that was started under FY16 Capacity Funds and builds on reported Activity Details (practices, mapping, and pollution reduction estimates).
    11. Save:  If there are no errors, the system will indicate that this activity has been saved successfully.  If there are errors in one of the fields identified above, the system will display an error message above the line item with the error.  Users will need to correct the errors before they can save the activity
    12. Close: Close out of the activity window
    13. Repeat as many times as necessary to add all additional activities.

Entering Activity Action and Planning Information

Activity Actions: Activity Actions are divided into different components that are related to the specific activities identified above by selecting each of four different action icons.  Changing the Activity Actions for any row of a given activity will change this information for all rows of this activity. 

  1. Click the  (edit activity) icon to edit information about the activity such as the description and activity category.  Please refer to the Activity Categories Guidance document for a description of each activity category. The eligible activity categories for this grant have been categorized below into Staff, Cost Share/Incentives and Technology/Capital Equipment.    
  2. Staff: Select from the following activity categories:
    • Administration/Coordination
    • Education/Information
    • Inventory/Mapping
    • Monitoring/Data Collection
    • Planning and Assessment
    • Project Development
    • Regulations/Ordinances/Enforcement
    • Technical/Engineering Assistance
  3. Cost Share/Incentives:  Select from the following activity categories:
    • Agricultural Practices
    • Conservation Drainage
    • Forestry Practices
    • Groundwater
    • Livestock Waste Management
    • Non-Structural Management Practices
    • Streambank and Shoreland Protection
    • Subsurface Sewage Treatment Systems
    • Urban Stormwater Practices
    • Wetland Restoration/Creation
    • Wind Erosion
    • Special Project
  4. Technology/Capital Equipment:  Select from the following activity categories:
    • Supplies/Equipment
  5. Complete the Activity Description by providing the name of the corresponding Comprehensive Plan and provide details on what the activity will accomplish, then click Save. Local Activity Number, Activity Lifespan, Start Date, Completion Date and Actual Results are not required fields for the workplan.
  6. Click Close to close the window and return to the Activities and Expenditures screen.

Additional Items

  • Rates and Hours:  Click the icon to enter information about the rates and estimated hours for funds budgeted for staff.  This is a legislative requirement of the Clean Water Fund.  Consult your BC if you have questions on the information that should be entered in this window.
  • Planning and Expense Actions: Planning and Expense Actions are used to edit budgets established in the steps above, or later on to report expenditures.  Selecting Planning and Expense Actions for any row will change the information for only that row.
  • Click the edit icon  in this column to change a budgeted amount.  Note this amount can’t be changed after the workplan has been approved without a grant agreement amendment and/or workplan revision.
  • The edit expenditures icon  is not needed until after the workplan has been approved and progress has been made on the activities.
  • The delete  icon can be used to remove an activity before workplan submittal.
  • To identify additional Team Members for the grant, click on the Grant name in the grid.  This will take you to the grant record.  Select the Team Selection tab to add or edit Team Members.  To return to the Workplan & Activities page, click the Go to Workplan link in the header.

Submitting the Workplan

To submit the workplan, select the Grant Title in the header of the Workplan & Activities page.  The current workplan stage will be displayed.  Select Submitted from the status dropdown in the header.  Click Go.  The system will lock the activities in your workplan and will notify your Board Conservationist that the workplan has been submitted and is ready for review.


Gwen Steel
Grants and Reporting Specialist