At the Legacy House we are trying to be responsible about the use of energy and water. We have started installation of a drip irrigation system (1) for the lawn-free landscaping.
The drip lines in the image above will be covered by two to three inches of mulch. They are uncovered now until we are sure everything is working properly, as it seems to be.
There are long lists of advantages and disadvantages to drip irrigation. For us low water usage, low initial cost, and better weed control were the principle considerations.