First…good observation. EVEN IF…the water table is not high there, don’t you occasionally get rain or irrigate the yard. And even if there is a positive drainage apron around the house, back fill can settle or homeowners do things they shouldn’t and cause surface drainage to pool against the foundation. And even if the home has nice surface drainage, once that surface water gets below the surface, it doesn’t necessarily go straight down to the closest aquifer. It can move laterally. You didn’t say if this was a crawlspace or basement, but a dry wall on a basement foundation is even more important. So, the obvious best practice is to water proof the foundation and shame on the engineer for his “save a dime” response.
Secondly…unless you are a code inspector, you are not a code inspector and should avoid that four-lettered word. Obviously, most of what we do overlaps with code, but most of us do and should make it clear that we are not code inspectors. One huge reason is that for most parts of the country, local AHJs make up their own personal codes. So, keeping up with what your AHJ wants to see today, can be difficult.