Hmmm. A single large tree can consume 150 gallons of water a day. That would be the third arguement for not having trees or shrubs around your house in arid climates (after pest prevention and combustable materials)
The article said "you may find it surprising just how much water it takes to prevent the wet-dry cycle" well, gee. Just how much water is that? 200 gallons a day? wouldn't surprise me with grass and really dry hot weather. 200 gallons a day for 30 days for 9 months is one heck of a lot of water (54000 yeah, fifty four THOUSAND gallons.) I wonder what that costs over 20 years? The column says you can just buy a water timer for about $10. Well gosh, if I'm worried about the cost of a water timer, I better not do it, cause the 54,000 gallons of water are going to make that pretty danged trivial.
Why not just pour a foundation that can deal with the wet-dry cycle? There is more up front cost, but it avoids the soaker hose issue, which I now think is pretty rediculous (again).
Build a floating foundation that doesn't care what the soil is doing, or pour pier pilings that extend so deep into the ground that the wet-dry cycle is irrelevant.