Soil erosion and its impact on the land and surface water resources are posing both ecological and socioeconomic threats around the world. In South India, tank systems are quite ancient, supporting rural livelihood including their agricultural needs. But, in recent decades they have lost their significance. The aggravated catchment erosion and resultant siltation have significantly reduced their storage capacity and thereby their functionality. Ambuliyar sub-basin, encompassing 809 irrigation tanks, has once satisfied multifunctional needs of people but now becomes degraded due to siltation. Though desilting of tanks and feeder channels is practiced, the tanks often get silted owing to aggravate soil erosion. Hence, to sustain their life span, it is essential to minimize the erosion in the catchment. Thus, the present study intends to estimate the rate of erosion, analyze their spatial variation through a time series analysis, and ascertain the causative factor. Accordingly, the annual soil loss estimated using Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation method has shown an increase in the rate of erosion from 4084.40 (1996) to 4922.47 t ha−1 y−1 (2016). However, spatially, a non-uniform pattern is inferred, and hence based on the variations, the sub-basin is divided into five zones. In zones I, II, and V, there is an increase in erosion, and in zones III and IV, a decrease is witnessed. Variations studied in conjunction with RUSLE parameters reveal that the improper land use practice has modified the erosion rate and pattern. Further, it is presumed that the silted watercourses might have increased the overland flow, which in turn increased the erosion. Remedial measures such as afforestation, promotion of coconut plantation, and reduction in overland flow by desilting tanks are suggested; thereby, the surface and groundwater resources will be enhanced and in turn the agricultural productivity.