Water Quality Models, Tools, and Estimators are critical for calculating and reporting measurable environmental outcomes for water quality projects funded through BWSR and our agency partners.
Accountability for measurable outcomes for water quality projects has increased over the last decade as the State of Minnesota has implemented more rigorous water quality monitoring, assessment, and planning methods, more funding has been dedicated for implementation projects for on the ground restoration and protection activities, and technological advances have enabled a new wave of tools to be at fingertips of local conservation staff.
BWSR is working with our Federal, State, and Local partners to provide resources and support for tools and models be developed that help support Minnesota’s Watershed Management Framework.
How to choose the right model, tool, or estimator?
Picking the right application for your project isn’t always easy, but our Choosing the Best Estimator (pdf) guidance will help in navigating which model, tool, or estimator will work best for your situation.
- Models and Tools
Prioritize Target and Measure Application (PTMApp)
Watershed Health and Assessment Framework (WHAF) (DNR)
HSPF SAM (MPCA)
Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) (USDA-ARS)
- Common Pollution Reduction Estimators
BWSR Water Erosion Pollution Reduction Estimator (xls) - Updated October 2021
- BWSR Estimator Spreadsheet Version Notes (pdf)
- Estimator Application and Use (pdf)
- BWSR Water Erosion Pollution Reduction Estimator Manual (pdf)
- Training Module 1: BWSR Estimator 101 (pdf)
- Training Module 2: What Practices does the BWSR Estimator address? (pdf)
- Training Module 3: Best Practices for using the BWSR Gully Estimator (video)
- Training Module 4: Best Practices for using the BWSR Stream and Ditch Bank Erosion Estimator (video)
- Training Module 5: Determining Contributing and Applied Acres for the BWSR Estimator Sheet and Rill Erosion Spreadsheet (video)
Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) for storm water projects
RUSLE2 and Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Models
Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS)
Please download our Water Quality Model, Tools, and Calculator Basics Reference Guide (pdf) for an overview of the available tools.
See Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s website for additional documentation and recorded presentations from water quality model and tool symposium.