There is much that is wonderful about living in the West. Lack of humidity, for example.
But that's an indicator of a basic fact of life: there's not much precipitation in this part of the country, at least south of Eugene, and so not much water for all the people and nature.
Marc Reisner covered the topic in great depth in his monumental work Cadillac Desert, first published in 1986. He covered the history: dams and diversions, rivers and reclamation, and the underlying issue: too much demand for too little water.
Drought has only made the book truer over time. Lawrie Mott, Reisner's widow, is a scientist and the writer of additional material for later editions of the book.