ABOUT U


Rodney T. Smith, Ph.D.

Rodney T. Smith is President of Stratecon Inc, an economics and strategic planning consulting firm specializing in the economics, finance, law, and politics of water resources; managing member of Strategic Water Management LLC, manager of private investment entities for water resources; President of Baja Norte Water Resources, LLC, a project developer of bi-national water projects; Co-Manager of Northern California Water Partners LLC, a group developing private-public partnerships for infrastructure financing of water projects.  Dr. Smith is also a founding member of Professionals for Water Supply Reliability, a non-profit voluntary association of professionals concerned about the water supply reliability in California.

Dr. Smith is also involved as an advisor in the acquisition of water rights throughout the western United States and in the sale and leasing of water rights and water supplies to public and private sector water users.  He has consulted extensively for public and private sector clients, including high net worth investors, on business and public policy issues concerning water resources, including Californiaís Drought Water Bank, the government of New South Wales, Australiaís effort to privatize irrigation organizations, and the eco≠nomic, financial, legal, and political dimensions of water transactions in many western states.  Rod worked on the IID/San Diego County Water Authority Agreement, the settlement of Colorado River disputes on behalf of the Imperial Irrigation District, and the acquisition of 42,000 acres from the United States Filter Corporation, a unit of Veolia Environment.  He is routinely involved in economic valuation of water rights, water investments, and negotiation of water acquisition and transportation agreements.  He has also served as an expert witness in the economic valuation of groundwater resources, disputes over the economic interpretation of water contracts, economics of water conservation and water use practices, and the socio-economic impacts of land fallowing.  Recently, Rod has served as a consultant to a major new water transfer study by the Western Governorsí Association and the Western States Water Council. 

Dr. Smith has written extensively on the law, economics, and finance of water re≠sources and water policy.  In 1987, he created and became co-editor of Strateconís paid-circulation publication Water Strategist: A Quarterly Analysis of Water Marketing, Fi≠nance, Legislation, and Litigation, In January 1999, the  publication became a monthly web-based publication (www.waterstrategist.com)  and information service, Water Strategist, which extended its coverage to include developments in the emerging private corporate participation in western water matters.  In addition, Stratecon Inc. introduced The Water Strategist Community, (www.waterchat.com) a web-based news portal providing free access to the direct press releases and important reports from over 300 public agencies and water firms.  WSC currently has a monthly use of over 50,000 hits.  In 2011, Stratecon stopped publishing Water Strategist and replaced it with a contract research service based on its proprietary database. 

 Rod is also known for his books Troubled Waters: Financing Water in the West and Trading Water: A Legal Framework for Water Marketing, sponsored by the Ford Foundation through grants to the Council of Governorsí Policy Advisors.  Former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt wrote the forwards for both books. 

Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and a Bach≠elor of Arts in Economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.  Prior to making a full-time commitment to the private sector, he was a professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College for fifteen years, Director of the Lowe Institute of Political Economy, and a member of the editorial board of Economic Inquiry, the professional economics research journal of the Western Economics Association.  In 1989, he was the John M. Olin Visiting Professor of Law and Economics at Columbia Law School.  In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was also a visiting assistant professor of economics at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, where he also served as the Associate Director of the Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, founded by the late Nobel Prize winner in economics, George Stigler.  Rod started his career after graduate school as an economist at the RAND Corporation.  He currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the School of Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University and on the Board of the Reed Institute of Decision Sciences, Claremont McKenna College. 

 

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