Mapleleaf - you're right.
The news on water is not good. Most of our population lives on the rim of the coast - but even there - water is very scarce. In Sydney we've had a whole lot of rain - but it's very coastal. The water catchment areas, less than 50 miles inland, aren't getting anything much and it's been this way for years. Melbourne and Adelaide are much worse off.
Australia's economy is pretty diverse - much as in US, but with about 21 million people, so on a significantly smaller scale. And a lot fewer gun nuts! The country is roughly the same size as mainland US, though - and pretty empty in the interior.
We have a comfortable life, though, mostly. Freely available healthcare is the big difference from US. When we read of the health problems of A2K-ers without health insurance we just cringe. It's so hard to imagine such a wealthy country with such a health system as you have for the not-so-well-off.