The main objective of this research was to study soil erosion and sediment yield in Mizewa watershed using SWAT model.

The study involved hydrological and erosion modelling using primary data collected in the watershed. Hydrological and meteorological data were collected from the stations installed in the watershed by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Energy and the National Meteorological Service Agency.

Suspended sediment data was collected at Mizewa River in the watershed, used for sediment rating curve development. The land use/ land cover map was prepared using field survey and Land Sat image and the soil map for the watershed was prepared from Abay basin soil as per the United Nations’ Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO)’s world soil database.

The average monthly soil loss was estimated in July with pick suspended sediment concentration despite the pick flow and sediment yield at the outlet being recorded in August – which is believed to happen due to the sediment data developed by the sediment rating curve. The predicted rate of soil loss and sediment yield at the subbasins and watershed outlet were high, leading to consider the watershed as an erosion-sensitive area according to Setegn (2009) and Hurni (1985)’s criteria of erosion sensitivity.

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This paper was first presented at the Nile Basin Development Challenge Science meeting. The NBDC Science meeting was held on 9 and 10 July 2013 at the ILRI-Ethiopia campus, with the objectives to exchange experiences and research results across NBDC scientists involved in the NBDC projects and to discuss challenges and possible solutions.