The effort to control sediment yield at watershed scale is an ongoing challenge that needs to take into account trade-offs between two conflicting objective functions, i.e. economic and hydrologic criteria. Therefore, researchers have coupled hydrologic and multi-objective optimization models to find Pareto-optimal solutions. However, very limited studies have been conducted to analyse the cost-effectiveness (C/E) of scenarios obtained in the Pareto-front optimal. This could provide new information leading to effective watershed management. Therefore, in the present study, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to simulate sediment yield under different combinations of best management practices (BMPs) and was coupled with the Non-dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm (NSGA-II). The model attends to providing the Pareto-optimal solutions by minimizing the costs of BMPs and maximizing sediment reduction. The results of the application of the cost-effective optimization model in Mehran watershed, Iran, showed that the solutions in the Pareto-optimal front reduce sediment yield between 2% and 40.5% from baseline at costs of between $6,500 and $72,100, respectively. Finally, comparison of four sediment reduction solutions (i.e. 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40%) showed that the total cost and C/E ratio of solutions increased as the sediment reduction criteria increased.

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