To conserve water, plant drought-tolerant grass, such as Bermuda or St. Augustine varieties, instead of turf grass, and opt for plants that are native to the region. Avoid steep slopes in the landscaping, and group plants with similar watering schedules together. If steep slopes are unavoidable, plant shrubs with deep roots to prevent runoff and soil erosion in the area, or choose plants that are native to the region to provide ground cover in the area.
Landscaping without grass is also an option for those living in drought-prone areas. For instance, place large paving stones or other stones as decorative accents, and plant succulents or other low-water plants to form a green background for the property.
Alternately, section off parts of the lawn with section edging, and fill the sections with smooth rocks in various colors. Add a few succulents to each section, and add other features, such as a fireplace, to the property in place of plants or shrubs.
To add features without reducing water availability, add a walkway made from flagstone, and layer pea gravel over water-permeable, weed-preventing garden cloth on each side of the path. In areas where pavement is necessary, install water-permeable paving to allow water to reach the soil. To determine which plants are best for the property, visit local sustainable gardens or greenhouses for information on native drought-resistant plants.