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Uchimizu: A Cool(ing) Tradition to Locally Decrease Air Temperature

Department of Water Management, Water Resources Section, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
Deltares, P.O. Box 177, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(6), 741;
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 June 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)
The urban heat island effect was first described 200 years ago, but the development of ways to mitigate heat in urban areas reaches much further into the past. Uchimizu is a 17th century Japanese tradition, in which water is sprinkled around houses to cool the ground surface and air by evaporation. Unfortunately, the number of published studies that have quantified the cooling effects of uchimizu are limited and only use surface temperature or air temperature at a single height as a measure of the cooling effect. In this research, a dense three-dimensional Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) setup was used to measure air temperature with high spatial and temporal resolution within one cubic meter of air above an urban surface. Six experiments were performed to systematically study the effects of (1) the amount of applied water; (2) the initial surface temperature; and (3) shading on the cooling effect of uchimizu. The measurements showed a decrease in air temperature of up to 1.5 °C at a height of 2 m, and up to 6 °C for near-ground temperature. The strongest cooling was measured in the shade experiment. For water applied in quantities of 1 mm and 2 mm, there was no clear difference in cooling effect, but after application of a large amount of water (>5 mm), the strong near-ground cooling effect was approximately twice as high as when only 1 mm of water was applied. The dense measurement grid used in this research also enabled us to detect the rising turbulent eddies created by the heated surface. View Full-Text
Keywords: meteorology; urban heat island; urban climate; experimental hydrology; DTS; evaporative cooling; energy balance meteorology; urban heat island; urban climate; experimental hydrology; DTS; evaporative cooling; energy balance
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Solcerova, A.; Van Emmerik, T.; Hilgersom, K.; Van de Ven, F.; Van de Giesen, N. Uchimizu: A Cool(ing) Tradition to Locally Decrease Air Temperature. Water 2018, 10, 741.

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