To save on water, we converted most of our backyard into a rock garden. It was a back-breaking project but we did it and survived.
Then on the farthest back, there was an old swimming pool that was too damaged and would cost too much money to repair. It was an eyesore for a long time, not to mention dangerous. To make it useful, we put a wood deck on top of it and converted it into our "mini resort".
On the side, we planted drought tolerant plants. It only needed to be watered occasionally.
The only part that needs regular watering is the narrow strip where I grow my vegetables.
After doing all these, our water bill dropped significantly.