High loads of suspended sediment derived from surface water erosion processes are a major source of environmental and economic problems throughout the world. In many places, a reduction in the amount of sediment delivered from arable land to rivers has therefore become a major issue in environmental policy. In Flanders ( Belgium), policy makers would like to achieve a reduction in soil erosion and sediment delivery through the use of various control measures adopted under an integrated environmental watershed management program. A distributed modelling approach (SEDEM/WaTEM) showed that although end-of-the-pipe solutions such as buffer strips or sediment retention ponds have a direct impact on sediment delivery, on-site soil conservation measures were more effective in reducing sediment loads in rivers. It remains questionable, however, whether the significant impact that watershed management has on local sediment yields, can be extrapolated to larger river drainage basins. In the case of highly regulated and channelized rivers, the impact may be much higher compared to natural rivers.