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It's the end of an era in South Texas as the last remaining sugar mill operating in Texas is set to close after 51 years in business. Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers recently announced they would begin to wind down operations due to water shortages.

But the water shortages could have been prevented it seems. Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers say a lack of support from the U.S. State Department is forcing the business to close. Recently, the sugar operation completed its harvest season and the processing of the sugarcane into raw sugar will its last according to valleycentral.com.

According to the report from valleyventral.com, the company says Mexico's failure to comply with a treaty with the United States has forced the closure.

“For over 30 years, farmers in South Texas have been battling with Mexico’s failure to comply with the provisions of the 1944 Water Treaty between the U.S. and Mexico that governs water sharing between the two nations on the Colorado River and the Rio Grande Valley,” the company stated. “RGVSG Inc. has no choice but to close its doors.”

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Hundreds of workers will lose their jobs due to the closure and officials expect the closure to have a negative impact on the local economy. The closure of the sugar mill has gotten the attention of both Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz who issued the following statement.

“Mexico’s failure to adhere to its obligations under the 1944 Treaty of Utilization of Waters is having disastrous consequences on farmers and ranchers in South Texas, and this closure will be followed by others unless the Government of Mexico moves to come into compliance with those obligations. The current situation is unsustainable and unacceptable. The U.S. must use every diplomatic tool at its disposal to ensure Mexico’s compliance. We will continue to look for ways to support South Texas’s agriculture community, which is suffering from a lack of water.”

Sadly, many families will be impacted by the closure of a business that has been around for over 50 years. This will also have an impact on the businesses that have relied on Rio Grande Valley to supply their sugar needs.

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