Water quality modelling often requires the simulation of erosion and sediment transport for sorptive pollutants at high temporal resolution. This paper introduces a parsimonious erosion and sediment transport model adapted to the needs of water quality modelling called ZIN-Sed. Using a kinetic-energy-of-rainfall erosion approach and an empirical transport capacity equations of overland flow, the model can mainly be parameterized by measurements, observations and literature values and just requires little calibration. It is based on the hydrological surface flow model ZIN and was tested in the 1.8 km2 Loechernbach catchment in south-western Germany. High resolution measurements of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) by turbidity measurements (eight events) provided an opportunity to validate the model on a short-timestep base. To broaden the validation database, a calibrated MUSLE (Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation) was used to estimate sediment totals of additional 28 events. The model realistically simulated both measured SSCs and estimated sediment totals and arrived at high Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies (up to 0.85) and low RMSEs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.