Well Picture

Peer Review

What Is It?

Peer review is a technical critique of another consultant's report to determine if the report addresses all the scientific and technical requirements of the applicable approval process. The benefit of utilizing peer review is the ability to apply a high level of expertise to evaluate a report or technical problem on an as required basis.

Who asks for one/needs one?

We undertake peer reviews for clients that lack the in-house technical expertise or qualifications to evaluate a report for compliance with the applicable statutes, policies or guidelines in order to obtain approval for the project. Municipalities and government agencies utilize our peer review service for complex projects or when the volume of reports requiring review does not warrant hiring full time staff.

Approach to Peer Review

Azimuth's approach to peer review in hydrogeology is to review the technical data (ground water levels, type and depth of overburden, water well records) used by the author to establish the conceptual model that defines ground water flow through the area. If the conceptual model is incorrect the analysis will be flawed. Upon confirming the accuracy of the conceptual model Azimuth hydrogeologists review the associated findings and recommendations to ensure they are consistent with the interpretation of the conceptual ground water flow model and the established scientific principles. The report is reviewed for the author's use of all available and applicable data sources, compliance with the applicable statutes, policies or guidelines. If the report is fundamentally flawed (e.g., ground water elevation show water flowing uphill) we immediately inform our client, providing suggestions on how to correct the situation, rather than spending the entire budget only to reject the findings. This approach minimizes the peer review cost and provides positive feedback on how to correct the report.

Disciplines Involved

The nature of the report defines the technical disciplines required. Azimuth assigns our technical staff based on the expertise required. Typically if it is a natural heritage review we would assign terrestrial and aquatic biologists to address flora and fauna and a hydrogeologist to review the ground water contribution to the ecosystem. Infrastructure components (sewage disposal, water supply) would be reviewed by our environmental engineers and hydrogeologists. Generally the review is assigned to one senior staff member who would consult with other disciplines as required.