Inside this Issue:

Important upcoming dates
FY22 Clean Water Fund Competitive RFP
Updates to the Grants Administration Manual
Tip(s) of the Quarter
State Cost Share Changes
FY22 Grants approval and processing
Prioritize Target Measure Application (PTMApp) update
BMP locations from eLINK updated on the MnGEO Commons
Call for eLINK Testers

Important upcoming dates

Aug 17:        Deadline to apply for FY22 Clean Water Fund competitive grants

Oct 26-28:    BWSR Academy - Cragun's, Brainerd, MN



FY22 Clean Water Fund Competitive RFP


The FY22 CWF RFP opened on June 30th, and will close at 4:30 pm on Tuesday, August 17th. The RFP, policy, FAQs, and other supporting documents have been posted on the Apply for Grants page. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the RFP and policy documents to avoid issues of eligibility.

Applications must be submitted via eLINK, BWSR’s grant management system. Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the application process early so that they can request help if they need it. Eligible applicants without a current eLINK user account must submit an account request no later than 7 days prior to the application deadline.

New elements for FY22 include:

Additions to the list of ineligible activities are:

  • Activities that outlet landlocked basins
  • Development and delivery of education/curriculum that does not lead to implementation of water quality practices
  • Any project that contributes to, or otherwise is used to replace wetlands impacted under the Wetland Conservation Act (per Minn. Rules 8420)
  • Activities under the Groundwater Protection Rule

Additionally, changes have been made to the list of eligible conservation practices and activities for the Multi-Purpose Drainage Management program. Please review the RFP and policy for additional details.

FY22 Clean Water Fund Timeline:

  • June 30, 2021: Application period begins
  • August 17, 2021: Application deadline at 4:30 p.m. (no late applications accepted)
  • December 16, 2021: BWSR Board authorizes grant awards (proposed)
  • February 2022: BWSR grant agreements sent to recipients (proposed)  
  • March 18, 2022: Work plan submittal deadline
  • April 8, 2022: Grant execution deadline 
  • December 31, 2024: Grant expiration date (grant must be completed)           

FY22 Competitive Clean Water Grant Funding Available:1

Program Name


Funding Available1

Match Requirement

BWSR Projects and Practices

Funds are to be used to protect, enhance and restore water quality in lakes, rivers and streams and to  protect groundwater and drinking water. Eligible activities include structural and vegetative practices to reduce runoff and retain water on the land, livestock water quality projects, Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) abatement grants for low income individuals, and stream bank, stream channel and shoreline protection projects.

Up to $12M


Projects and Practices - Drinking Water subprogram

This grant makes an investment in land treatment projects and practices that will protect or improve drinking water sources. Surface water (streams, rivers, and lakes) and groundwater (aquifers) can both serve as sources of drinking water.

Up to 20% of total Projects and Practices funding amount


BWSR Multipurpose Drainage Management

This program funds multipurpose drainage management practices, targeting critical pollution source areas to reduce erosion and sedimentation, reduce peak flows and flooding, and improve water quality, while protecting drainage system efficiency and reducing drainage system maintenance for priority Chapter 103E drainage systems.

Up to $750,000


MDA AgBMP Loans2

MN Department of Agriculture offers low interest loans to farmers, rural landowners, and agriculture supply businesses support agricultural Best Management Practices that prevent or reduce runoff from feedlots, farm fields and other pollution problems identified by the county in local water plans. Any LGU may apply, but awards will be coordinated through existing contract holders.


Not required

MPCA Clean Water Partnership Loans2

MN Pollution Control Agency’s Clean Water Partnership (CWP) program offers zero-interest loans to local units of government for addressing nonpoint-source pollution to improve water quality.

Up to $2,500,000

Not required

1 Amounts shown are estimates. Actual amounts will be determined prior to the end of the application period.2Indicate interest in loan dollars as part of a Projects and Practices or Projects and Practices Drinking Water application.

GRANTS GAM cluster icon

FY22 Updates to the Grants Administration Manual

The Grants Administration establishes administrative and programmatic requirements for all grants administered by BWSR. Several updates have been made to the manual for fiscal year (FY) 2022. In addition, many items under the Optional and Example Forms section have been updated.

While BWSR aims to limit updates the GAM to the change of the fiscal year, optional and example forms may be updated outside that schedule as needed. Always visit BWSR's website to download the most recent version of forms.

Chapter Name Section Summary of Changes
About the GAM Administrative requirements & policies Replaced the term “salary” with “wages”
Allowable and Unallowable Costs Administrative requirements & policies Clarified billing rate requirements apply when a local government is providing services that will be paid for with BWSR funds.  Minor updates for clarity and consistency.
Determining a Billing Rate Administrative requirements & policies Revised chapter and calculator for clarity.  Updated tables to meet accessibility standards.
Frequently Asked Questions Administrative requirements & policies Minor terminology updates for clarity and consistency.
Grants Monitoring and Financial Reconciliation Policy Administrative requirements & policies Department of Administration’s Office of Grants Management Policies 08-08 and 08-10 were revised effective 7/1/2020.  This policy revision allows greater flexibility when selecting through a documented risk assessment which grant(s) will be financial reconciled in accordance with office of Grants Management Policies 08-08 and 08-10.
Records, Program and Project Files Administrative requirements & policies Minor text changes for clarity.
Requesting a Reimbursement or Payment Administrative requirements & policies Updated reference to reconciliations.
Implementing Contracts with Land Occupiers Implementing practices Added procedure for incentive payments.



Tip(s) of the quarter

Q. How long must conservation practice project files for cancelled projects be retained?

A. Under Minnesota Statutes §16B.98, the State has the authority to examine records and documents relevant to the grant or transaction for a minimum of six years from the end of a grant agreement, receipt and approval of all final reports, or the required period of time to satisfy all State and program retention requirements, whichever is later.


Q. Do I need to collect receipts for credit card purchases?

A. Yes, original detailed receipts should be required. LGUs have the authority to use credit cards for purchases. Monthly statements received from credit card companies generally do not provide sufficient detail to determine whether a purchase was made for a public purpose and not for a public employee’s or public official’s personal use. As a result, public employees/public officials should be required to turn in the original, detailed receipt for every purchase made with the public entity’s credit card. This tip comes from the Office of the State Auditor’s weekly newsletter. Read more on OSA’s website.  

State Cost Share changes for FY22-23

SWCDs have been required to submit an annual work plan as a condition of receiving BWSR cost-share grant funding under Minnesota Statute 103C.501. From FY12 through FY21, this requirement was fulfilled through submittal of a Biennial Budget Request (BBR). Beginning in FY22-23, Cost-Share grants will require a work plan in eLINK, which will fulfill the statutory requirement of the annual plan.

For additional background and guidance, please visit State Cost Share: Annual Grant Request Guidance.

SWCD Annual Work Plan Transition Diagram


FY22-23 Grants approval and processing

At its meeting on June 23rd, 2021, the BWSR Board approved provisional allocations for a number of FY22 grant programs, as well as some FY23 programs, pending legislative budget approval. These include Natural Resource Block Grants, SWCD Program and Operations grants, and Technical Service Area (TSA) grants. Final allocation amounts are still being determined following passage of the State budget, but should not be reduced from the previous biennium. Final allocation amounts will be posted under the Allocations section on the SWCD Grants, County Grants, and TSA Grants pages of the website, respectively.

SWCD Program and Operations grant agreements, along with Natural Resource Block Grant (NRBG) grant agreements, will again be issued as biennial agreements. All grants on the agreement with a work plan requirement must have a work plan approved before the grant agreement can be executed and payment can be made. Payments for FY23 grants will be made after the start of that fiscal year.


Sample map shows locations of BMPs across the state as reported in eLINK

Best Management Practice (BMP) locations from eLINK updated on the MnGEO Commons

Recently, the eLINK BMP geospatial location data was update on the MnGEO Commons site.  In the past BWSR has updated this data in the fall and in the spring after annual reporting.  In the future, we will only post updated data to the MnGEO Commons in the spring, after the annual reporting process.  This year’s new dataset has an additional 1,500 mapped BMPs compared to fall 2020.  The dataset now includes 39,616 BMPs across the entire state that have been mapped since eLINK came online in 2004. The graphic at right is a map of the extent of the mapped BMPs.

The data on the MnGEO Commons only includes grants that have been completed and closed out by BWSR.  If you want data from both open and closed grants, please contact Matt Drewitz, BWSR Measures and Outcomes Coordinator. 

Prioritize Target Measure Application (PTMApp) Update

PTMApp maintenance and enhancement work has progressed through the pandemic.  A few highlights include:

  • PTMApp Desktop Model:  Earlier this year, an updated version of the PTMApp model was made available here.  The model can be run on Arc GIS 10.5, 10.6, and Arc Pro 2.5, but BWSR is planning to update the model later this year to be compatible with Arc GIS 10.7 and 10.8, along with the most recent version of Arc GIS Pro.  Two major changes were made to the model.  First, the cost values associated with BMPs were updated to now include both life cycle costs and BMP establishment costs.  Second, the six BMP treatment groups have been replaced by 24 specific NRCS practice types, which enhances how the model displays and characterizes BMPs.
  • PTMApp Web Application:  No major changes have been made to the web application since the scenario builder was added last year.  Later this summer, there will be a major update to the Scenario Builder and watershed data will be updated. 
  • Website updates:  This summer, the PTMApp Theory and Documentation page will transition to the BWSR website.  A beta version of the site, with recently updated user guides for the desktop model and web is active on the BWSR website

Over the next few months, BWSR will be working to develop plans for PTMApp training post-pandemic.  If you have PTMApp questions or training needs, please contact Matt Drewitz, BWSR Measures and Outcomes Coordinator, or Henry Van Offelen, BWSR NW Clean Water Specialist.


Call for eLINK Testers

Development of the next generation of eLINK is underway, and we are still accepting volunteer eLINK testers.

Your time is valuable, so we will make every effort to keep tests short, and you will not be asked to participate more than once a month. Participation will always be voluntary. If you are interested in being part of the testing and focus group team, sign up at