water tools and models

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)

PTMApp web login

Watershed Health and Assessment Framework (WHAF) (DNR)


Watershed Pollutant Load Reduction Calculator Tool (WPLRCT) (MPCA)

Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework (ACPF) (USDA-ARS)


WRET - Wetland Restoration Effectiveness Tool

Common Pollution Reduction Estimators

BWSR Water Erosion Pollution Reduction Estimator (xls) - Updated October 2021

Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) for storm water projects

Septic System Estimator (xls)


RUSLE2 and Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) Models

Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS)

Milk House Waste Estimator (xls) and User Guide (pdf)



Additional Resources

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.



Udai Singh
Modeling and Outcomes Coordinator