I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast, but I have watched some youtube videos in the past that break down water consumption for lawns and it can be pretty crazy. I recall watching some videos from a guy in the Phoenix area who loves water features in landscapes, and he was able to demonstrate that a pond in the yard used less water than grass in Phoenix.
I am certainly not going for a perfect lawn at my house. It is in an area with nice houses (for Cherokee County, OK), but it is rural. So the expectations for a lawn are definitely different than the suburbs. I do want to have a decent lawn in the backyard area for my small kids to play on, but outside of that I don't care much about the rest of the yard. I would like to mow less, if possible. I usually only water a lawn if I really have to. When I lived in OKC I only watered my lawn when I needed to start new patches of cool season grasses in the shady areas...and then I had to water those same areas a lot in the summer. I didn't care much if my Bermuda dried up, since it would just go dormant until we got more rain.
I typically might use fertilizer on a lawn about once in a season, and I always have the mower on a mulching setting so I get the nutrients from my grass clippings right back on my lawn. I wouldn't even care much about weeds in my lawn (I've usually got plenty) if weeds didn't grow at such different rates and heights. A patch of crabgrass can make your lawn look kind of like a jungle even if the grass itself isn't that high.
Lastly, I also don't usually mow my lawns as low as most nice bermuda grass lawns. Since I don't give much supplemental water to my bermuda grass, I don't want to mow it so low the sun can dry the ground out even faster.
All that said...I'm no eco-warrior, I just don't have the time (and I'm too cheap) to keep my lawn really well manicured. I wouldn't mind xeriscaping some parts of the landscape since I wouldn't have to mow it. In our climate though, it is a pretty big challenge to keep the forest from reclaiming large beds without lots of time and energy as well. I think to reduce my lawn space even further, I am going to try to convince my wife to let my put our food garden somewhere in the existing cleared area. I certainly don't want to clear any more land than I have to.