In this study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was used to examine the spatial variability of sediment yield, quantify runoff, and soil loss at the sub-basin level and prioritize sub-basins in the Sindh watershed due to its computational efficiency in complex watersheds. The Sequential Uncertainty Fitting-2 approach was used to determine the sensitivity and uncertainty of model parameters. The parameter sensitivity analysis showed that Soil Conservation Services Curve Number II is the most sensitive model parameter for streamflow simulation, whereas linear parameters for sediment re-entrainment is the most significant parameter for sediment yield simulation. This study used daily runoff and sediment event data from 2003 to 2013; data from 2003 to 2008 were utilized for calibration and data from 2009 to 2013 were used for validation. In general, the model performance statistics showed good agreement between observed and simulated values of streamflow and sediment yield for both calibration and validation periods. The noticed insights of this research show the ability of the SWAT model in simulating the hydrology of the Sindh watershed and its reliability to be utilized as a decision-making tool by decision-makers and researchers to influence strategies in the management of watershed processes.

  • Kashmir valley is vulnerable to natural hazards due to its geographic and geologic settings.

  • Overall, 57% of the Sindh watershed's total area has been assessed to be in the moderate to high erosion-causing categories.

  • Upland sub-basins are more susceptible to erosion.

  • The SWAT model has proved to be an effective tool for the prediction of hydrological processes of the Sindh watershed.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits copying and redistribution for non-commercial purposes with no derivatives, provided the original work is properly cited (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).