Soil use and management vol:18 issue:4 pages:386-394
Soil erosion and sediment delivery cause many environmental problems posing a substantial financial burden upon society. Policy makers therefore look for a strategy to minimize their impact. The spatial nature of soil erosion and sediment delivery, as well as the variety of possible soil conservation and sediment control measures, requires an integrated approach to catchment management. To evaluate such management, a spatially distributed soil erosion and sediment delivery model is necessary. Such a model (WaTEM/SEDEM) was applied to three agricultural catchments in Flanders (Belgium). The model was first used to identify where the measures to control soil loss should be taken. Secondly, a scenario analysis was used to select the most effective set of techniques. The findings showed that soil conservation measures taken in fields are not only effective in reducing on-site soil loss, but also in drastically reducing sediment yield. Off-site sediment control measures appear to be much less effective in reducing sediment yield than previously thought. The results also suggest that data from field experiments cannot be extrapolated to a catchment scale.