Two Punjab-origin brothers, Arijeet Singh, 14, and Rajvarun Singh Grewal, 16, have managed to make themselves heard in the provincial assembly in Sacramento through their innovative idea to deal with the drought situation in California.
The brothers had come up with an idea of replacing natural grass with artificial grass in July last year to decrease the overall consumption of water. They had submitted a letter to Bakersfield assembly member Ruby Salas and several other local leaders, proposing a Bill to provide subsidies or tax rebates to citizens, businesses and organisations that would replace their lawns with synthetic grass.
Besides, they also created a Facebook page called ‘Saving California Farms One Drop at a Time,’ to spread awareness about the issue.
Rajvarun is a grade 11 student of Sierra Pacific High School at Hanford, while Arijeet is a grade 9 student of Pioneer Middle School. Their father Varinder Singh Grewal hails from Mandi Ahmedgarh in Sangrur district of Punjab.
On the Facebook page, the brothers wrote, “Groundwater is at record low and most of the water is becoming salty, which is not good to grow a majority of food and crops. Millions of acres are declared uncultivated due to lack of water. We need to stop playing the blame game of ‘global warming’ or hoping for a better rain/snow next year or smelt fish issue.”
They wrote, “We must take action and this proposed Bill will help conserve millions of acre feet of water that can be used to save our farms.”
On February 24, 2015, Salas introduced assembly Bill (AB) 603, to establish a statewide tax credit for consumers who would replace conventional grass with artificial grass, which will be implemented from January 1, 2016.