A water feature in an arid climate isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. When months go by without a drop of rain, the sight and sound of water in the garden are powerfully reassuring on many levels ― physically, psychologically, even spiritually. A gently splashing fountain or overspilling bowl can cool the body, calm the mind, and instill gratitude in the soul. It reminds us that every garden is an oasis and that water in a region that sees little, if any, summer rainfall is a blessing, not a privilege.
Minimizing evaporation is the key to creating a responsible water feature. The drier the air and the more vigorous the water's motion, the faster water evaporates. We can't influence the former, but the latter is totally under our control. Even modest spill fountains can be as cooling as powerful sprays and thundering cascades, and their softer music is more pleasing to the ear.