Is synthetic lawn the answer to the water crisis? I hope not. While high quality artificial grass has come a long ways, it is very expensive and I have been told that it will absorb pet odors. I do not know if this information is reliable, so do your own research if you are considering adding it to your yard. I prefer to see it used in back yards, where is is ideal around pools and for putting greens. It still looks too artificial in my opinion to be used in front yard landscaping. It could limit your curb appeal to future buyers.
Enough on fake lawn. Yards are only of practical value if they have a reason to be used. Your back yard needs a drawn or it will sit idol 99% of the time. Instead of pools that are a huge monetary investment, use a tremendous amount of water and require a lot of maintenance, consider adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit instead. It will cost you a fraction of the price of a built in pool. It requires virtually no maintenance and it looks good 12 months out of the year. There are many models available at home improvement stores that are portable and look great.