Quantitative evaluation of the spatial distribution of the erosion risk in any watershed or ecosystem is one of the most important tools for environmentalists, conservationists and engineers to plan natural resource management for the sustainable environment in a long term. This study was performed in the semi-arid catchment of the Saraykoy II Irrigation Dam, Cankiri, located in the transition zone between the Central Anatolia Steppe and the Black Sea Forests of Turkey. The total area of the catchment is 262.31 ha. The principal objectives were to quantify both potential and actual soil erosion risks by the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and to estimate the amount of sediments to be delivered from the hillslope of the catchment to the reservoir of the dam using the sediment delivery ratio (SDR) in combination with the RUSLE model. All factor and sub-factor calculations required for solving the RUSLE model and SDR in the catchment were made spatially using DEM, GIS and Geostatistics. As the main catchment was divided into twenty-five sub-catchments, the predicted actual soil loss (by the model) was 146,657.52 m 3 year -1 and the weighted average of SDR estimated by areal distribution (%) of the sub-watersheds was 0.344 for whole catchment, resulted in 50,450.19 m 3 year -1 sediment arriving to the reservoir. Since the Dam has a total storage capacity of 509 × 10 3 m 3 , the life expectancy of the Dam is estimated as 10.09 year. This estimation indicated that the dam has a relatively short economic life and there is a need for water-catchment management and soil conservation measures to reduce erosion. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.