About the Author

Laura Sanchez

Laura Sanchez is the editor of Distributed Energy and Water Efficiency magazines.

Articles by Laura Sanchez

Perilous Waters

Water

Perilous Waters

“Peligro,” the sign reads—danger. Despite this warning, people have filed through gaps in fences and have waited patiently to fill buckets, jugs, and bottles with water from a spigot on an abandoned lot, the Washington Post reports. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, citizens of Puerto Rico are in desperate

Capturing Carbon

Energy

Capturing Carbon

Could power production benefit the environment? A handful of innovative companies are betting on it by pairing technologies that could help the climate recover from the edge of catastrophe.

One of the technologies, called direct-air capture, involves extracting carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. When paired with an additional injection process

A Groundwater Glass Half-Full

Water

A Groundwater Glass Half-Full

Satellite radar measurements provided by interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or InSAR, can detect subtle, millimeter-scale changes in ground elevation as areas gain or lose groundwater. Researchers have recently utilized the technology to quantify the effects of California’s drought. And in an unexpected twist, they also detected shifts due to policy

A Silver Lining After the Storm

Energy

A Silver Lining After the Storm

The images of Hurricane Maria’s aftermath in Puerto Rico are shocking—trees stripped of their foliage, splintered buildings, drowned cattle, and the twisted remnants of cars. The destruction is unfathomable.

When the hurricane’s winds and torrential rains hit the US territory on September 20, they not only destroyed buildings and flooded the

Arboreal Invasion

Water

Arboreal Invasion

Meadows are a pastoral paradise. Beyond their verdant beauty, however, they are essential to vital environmental systems. If you were to look under the surface—beneath the grasses, the clover, the primrose, and the yarrow—you would see that important hydrologic processes are taking place.  

Mountain meadows play a crucial role in

Kilowatts from Kelp

Energy

Kilowatts from Kelp

Seaweed is one of the fastest-growing plants on earth.  It stretches from the seafloor to the surface at an astonishing rate of two to three feet a day. And scientists believe that someday this quick-growing resource could provide a significant source of power.  

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has

The Flotsam in Our Veins

Water

The Flotsam in Our Veins

We’ve all seen pictures of the garbage patch cluttering the ocean’s gyres. We’ve been warned that microplastics are filling the bellies of fish that we consume. But what about our drinking water?  Could the water from the world’s taps be creating flotsam in our veins?

Microplastics—those tiny fibers and fragments that

The Power Industry’s Patchwork Quilt

Energy

The Power Industry’s Patchwork Quilt

My great-grandmother was a quilter. She pieced together colorful fabric scraps to create mosaic patterns on each blanket. I remember her dismay one day after tacking a design together when she discovered an additional set of pieces that needed to be included. After a moment of reevaluation, she cut the

140 Tons of Fat

Water

140 Tons of Fat

A colossal beast has overtaken the city of London, threatening its infrastructure and horrifying inhabitants. It’s a sinister, smelly beast of a sewer blockage lurking beneath city streets.

The Whitechapel fatburg, as the clog is called, is a concrete-like formation of fat, intermingled with disposable wipes, diapers, condoms, and feminine