I've been enjoying Science Daily lately. Among other things, it seems to have one of the best collections of articles about problems of water and the environment.
This article about urban turf, says that American irrigated city lawns have triple the area of irrigated corn. What a water waster!
My driveway is gravel, and generally full of weeds. I've been gradually introducing native ground cover, with the intent of letting it take over the drive. Of course, there will still be ruts, but it won't have the impervious surface of concrete, or its massive energy requirement.
My backyard is similar to any urban yard, with a lot of grass. I don't water it, though, and I have decided to start filling it with native grasses. It will look great and won't need mowing!