In Remembrance of Thomas Pape

We learned this week that our colleague and dear friend Thomas Pape passed away after a long illness. It is a tragic loss to the national water conservation community.

A graduate of Buckminster Fuller's Planning and Design program at Southern Illinois University, Tom spent his entire career promoting and supporting energy and water efficiency, where he was a well-known and passionate advocate at the federal, state, and local levels. As a water and energy efficiency technical expert, he made many important contributions to efficient resource use.   

An early advocate and trainer of water and energy efficiency practices, he was instrumental in the creation and support of numerous codes and standards that greatly improved efficient water use both throughout the United States and internationally. He provided guidance to countless water utilities on practical implementation strategies in water efficiency programs. He gave his technical support and knowledge to a large number of organizations, including the California Urban Water Conservation Council, IAPMO, ASHRAE, ANSI, the US Green Building Council, and the Green Building Institute. He invented new products, like the showerhead "retrofit wrench" (which we couldn't say properly without sounding like Elmer Fudd). He spent countless months overseas working on water efficiency programs for USAID in Jordan, Cypress, and the Philippines. 

He gave the greatest and most welcome support to the Alliance for Water Efficiency. From the moment the organization was founded, Tom became one of AWE's Technical Advisors and product codes experts. He served many years as the AWE representative at countless codes and standards bodies. He also provided AWE with technical program evaluations and water efficiency research and resources, especially in his specialty area of plumbing and mechanical model code development.   

Tom was an extraordinary problem solver. When working on a provision in a code or standard that he knew could be made better, Tom was never satisfied with "just letting it go" when confronted with obstacles to change. Instead, he worked to better understand the issue from all perspectives. He came to meetings well-prepared with sound proposals supported by his research and that moved the needle towards greater efficiencies. The impact Tom made on improving codes and standards cannot be overstated. 

Tom dedicated his life to supporting the cause of efficiency. He managed hundreds of projects and participated in simplifying dozens of codes and standards. The United States and, indeed the world owe Tom deep gratitude for his tireless efforts to ensure built-in efficiency in water and energy-using products and appliances, which will benefit us all for many decades to come.   

Tom was a good friend, colleague, and one-of-a-kind, larger-than-life human being. We already sorely miss him.

Mary Ann Dickinson, former CEO, Alliance for Water Efficiency  
Pete DeMarco of IAPMO, former Board Chair, Alliance for Water Efficiency 

To read more about Tom's life and legacy, please follow this link to his obituary.