Sustainability Hot Topics in the Land of (more than) 10,000 Lakes

Tuesday, June 5
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Northstar B

Minnesota rivers, streams, and lakes combined contain more surface freshwater than any other state in the contiguous US. The natural resource services provide by these water bodies are harnessed for a wide range of beneficial uses, from urban waterfront aesthetics in the Twin Cities to assimilation of nutrients in agricultural landscapes to hydroelectric generation. A dynamic climate shapes these water resources while human adaptation to seasonal temperature swings modifies them with consequences that are not always well understood. This expert panel of scientists, practitioners, and policy makers will discuss these critical linkages between human behavior and water resource systems, highlighting some important local projects, initiatives, and policy mechanisms designed to improve sustainable management of Minnesota water resources.

Adam Witt, PhD

Hydropower Systems Research Engineer
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Adam Witt is a Hydropower Systems Research Engineer in the Energy Water Resource Systems Group at Oak Ridge National Lab. His research interests include energy and water resource systems assessments and technology development, including design, engineering, economic, and environmental analysis of small hydropower projects, techno-economic and energy modeling of hydropower and pumped storage plants, water quality modeling of hydropower systems, hydropower operations optimization modeling, and engineering consultation to accelerate the viability of emerging water power technologies. He received a BA in Physics from Carleton College and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota under a fellowship from the Hydro Research Foundation. Dr. Witt can be reached at and 865-241-7367.


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Larry Herke, Director, Office of Enterprise Sustainability, State of Minnesota


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Katrina Kessler

City of Minneapolis


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Steve Woods, Executive Director, Freshwater Society


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Amy Hansen

Research Associate
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnes


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Sustainability Hot Topics in the Land of (more than) 10,000 Lakes

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