July 22, 2014
AQ2 is an independent water resources consultancy based in Perth. We provide technical services and develop applied solutions for groundwater and surface water resource management. AQ2 was founded in 2013 and originated in the concept of returning to the fundamentals of professional advice – of focus and specialisation, of quality and of value.
In 1998, the team at AQ2 were part of a group that established another boutique water resources consultancy in Perth. The underpinning aims of that business were similar to those of AQ2 – to provide cost-effective and practical solutions for water resources management in the resources industry.
That business was successful and by the time it was acquired by a multi-national in 2010, it had grown to over 100 people with offices in Australia, north Asia and Europe. The origins of AQ2 lie in rekindling the simple but successful formula that underpinned our ancestor-business –working with clients to deliver practical solutions to the water resource issues their projects faced and doing it efficiently.
The original business changed along the way, in response to some fundamental changes in the mining-market, to growth and to being part of a large corporate. General consensus seems to be that similar changes affected most technical services businesses exposed to the resources-boom – costs increased, bigger was better and the necessities of meeting market-demand meant compromises were made. Today, paring back continues in both mining companies and their service providers, as the market returns to normality after a ten-year surge and the resources industry regains efficiency and right-sizes.
In 2014, the focus of mining is less on green fields capital projects where speed-of-development was almost as important as cost. It has shifted to more considered green fields developments and expanding production and efficiency at existing mines. And once again, when selecting technical advisors, the emphasis is returning to skill, service and cost – the drivers of value creation – rather than simple capacity.
Notwithstanding the changing market conditions, the complexity faced by the mining industry in managing water resources continues to increase. For example, in the Pilbara in Western Australia, many more mines now operate below the water table and need advice about dewatering and depressurisation. The concept of cumulative impact increasingly means the combined effects of multiple mines in one catchment. The need for a make-up water supply is sometimes now replaced with the more complex need to manage excess water produced from dewatering.
A New Business – AQ2
And so, with the mining sector returning to more considered market conditions, focussing on costs and efficiency and facing increasingly complex water management issues, the time seemed right to launch boutique consultancy AQ2, and refocus on the fundamentals of skill, service and cost.
Our Mission is to develop Applied Hydrotechnical Solutions – to provide high quality technical services and develop applied solutions for groundwater and surface water management.
Our Vision is to be Independent International Specialists – to be recognised as providers of high quality boutique groundwater and surface water management services, providing client focussed solutions internationally.
We have returned to the efficiency and low-cost base that goes with a small, highly focussed consultancy that employs skilled people who are motivated by professional challenges, and which needs little hierarchy or management. Our business is efficient and overheads are low and so our rates are competitive. Our business is only water resources and so our effort is not spent trying to cross-sell multi-disciplinary services. Our effort is spent working for our clients, often as part of their multi-disciplinary teams.
We have returned to the client-focus that occurs when a business is employee-owned; owned by motivated people who enjoy their life at work. All our people have a stake in providing the service and solutions that lead to successful outcomes for our clients and AQ2.
Our values focus on:
- fostering a culture of flexibility – that encourages us to understand and respond to our clients’ agenda and support our people in achieving the life-balance they want;
- satisfaction – for our clients in how and what we do for them and for our people in working with the best professionals on rewarding projects;
- wellbeing – looking after the health and safety of our people and fostering a sustainable environment; and
- success – for our client’s projects and for AQ2, measured holistically, celebrated and shared.
AQ2 – Our Team
Our core team is growing to include Hydrogeologists, Modellers, Hydrologists and Engineers. The pedigree of our team is based on extensive experience and high technical standards.
Our team is supported by a select group of associates with complementary skills who we use for any of the disciplines we do not need on a full-time basis. We find that this model is efficient and helps us maintain competitive rates for high levels of skill and experience. Our associates include other water-resource professionals, environmental scientists, soil scientists, specialist engineers, GIS specialists and graphic designers, illustrators and drafters. Our associates all work to the same high technical standards and client-focus that is fundamental to AQ2.
We aim to work together to offer applied hydrotechnical solutions.