Lived in Juan Jose for 20 years and practiced landscape design there. I sold my practice to a landscape architect that signed off on my drawings when needed. He is gone now but I bet his family nursery thrives unless the box stores killed it.
First question I asked any client is how much time, or money to make up for it, they planned to spend on the design I came up with for them. Anything you plant will get away from you if you cannot commit resources to watching over plantlife or even a natural pool.
I finally became honest with myself and hired a Japanese gardening family to look after my own place a couple times a week.
Will the groundcovers you have in mind turn invasive? I would pick something else than what you have in mind, bury header strips or look into something like one of the landscape curb pouring companies like Border Magic and separate the groundcovers from the lawn. Then you have a fighting chance if you keep an eye on things, or your gardening team does.
Do look into drip irrigation for everything but your turfgrass. You can get emitters in all sorts of configurations for groundcovers, shrubs and trees and drip systems work in gallons per hour, not gallons per minute like what you probably have now. Plants love it.
As you know, water is becoming a big issue where you are. My state is running out fast too. I lived through rationing once while our Northern California water raced past to fill swimming pools in LaLa Land. I think you Northern Californians should revolt this time.
With a responsible drip irrigation system for most of your yard, you should be on the winning edge of this when it happens.
You know a biblical reference I used until each copy feel apart out your way was the Sunset Western Garden Book. If you don't have one, and you can spare $20, get a copy. Every real retail nursery will have a beat up one on, or just under the counter. There is all kinds of wonderful information in there.
And get to know your real nursery people, not the minimum wage apron folks at box stores. I sold to all in your part of the world and some have remained great friends. I of course bought plant material in amounts that would scare you from some.