MDE Employee Spotlight

Spotlight on Staff: Meet John Grace

Photo of John Grace

John Grace is the Chief of the Source Protection and Appropriations Division of the Water Supply Program, Water Management Administration (WMA). His major responsibilities are implementing the water appropriation and use permitting program, assuring that communities have adequate water supply capacity, and helping communities protect and improve the quality of their water. John has just completed his 25th year with the WMA.

John is passionate about water supply issues facing individuals, businesses and communities across the State. John says, “Increasing demands for water lead to increased concern that we have enough resources to satisfy the demand while still providing for a healthy environment.”

To address capacity concerns, the State’s Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State’s Water Resources (the Wolman Committee) released its final report in 2008. The Committee assessed the condition of the Maryland’s water resources management effort and made recommendations to assure State will provide for the long-term use and protection of our water resources and a strategy for appropriate funding for sustainable management of the resources.

John’s Division continues to work on implementing recommendations from the Committee. Compliance with water use reporting requirements has significantly improved since 2006. A new GIS project enables John’s Division to have ready access to multiple levels of information about Maryland’s Coastal Plain aquifer system. John is looking forward to the development of an improved data management system and is working with his staff in concert with resource study agencies on two major aquifer studies.

John is from East Patchogue, New York. In his youth, he says, he spent a lot of time outside participating in sports, bicycling and hiking through the woodlands and marshes near his home. John says he was fortunate to have mentors along the way that had deep appreciation and knowledge regarding the natural world. John attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., where he received his bachelor's degree in aquatic environmental studies. He went on to the University of Rhode Island and obtained a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering. John continues to be active outdoors, riding his bicycle to work and enjoying backpacking.

John’s commitment to fairness and due process are cornerstone values that, along with sound technical analysis from staff, help lead to good decisions. Thanks to employees like John, the quality, development, and conservation of the State's drinking water supply is continually being evaluated.​