Assessing the Microclimate Effects and Irrigation Water Requirements of Mesic, Oasis, and Xeric Landscapes

Rubab Saher, Ariane Middel, Haroon Stephen, Sajjad Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Urban irrigation is an essential process in land–atmosphere interactions. It is one of the uncertain parameters of urban hydrology due to various microclimates. This study investigated the microclimate effects and irrigation water requirements of three landscape types in an arid region of Phoenix, AZ. The microclimate effect encompassed surface temperature, air temperature, and wind speed. The simulations of the three landscapes were conducted using ENVI-met software for the hottest day of the year (23 June 2011). The simulated model was validated using ground data. Results show that the mesic landscape induced cooling effects, both in the daytime and nighttime, by reducing surface and air temperatures. However, the mesic landscape showed high-water consumption because of a high leaf area density. The oasis landscape showed 2C more daytime cooling than the mesic landscape, but the nighttime warming (surface temperature) was comparable to the xeric landscape. The potential irrigation water requirement was 1 mm/day lower than the mesic landscape. Moreover, microclimate conditions varied spatially in each neighborhood. The xeric landscape showed lower wind speeds and air temperatures between the buildings. The wind speed variations in the three landscapes were inconclusive due to differences in building orientations and discrepancies in trees’ heights. The findings can have implications for restricting the municipal irrigation budget. In addition, they can help water managers in choosing a landscape in urban areas. Urban scientists can adapt the methodology to quantify urban ET in arid regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • microclimate effects
  • surface temperature
  • urban evapotranspiration
  • urban irrigation
  • urban landscapes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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