There's a nice story in the San Francisco Chronicle today on drought-tolerant gardening.
The surprise is there are some cantaloupe varieties (the Bush Star, an F-1 hybrid) that don't need a lot of water, are good to eat and grow quickly.
Here are some tips from the story:
-- Space your plants farther apart than suggested to give the roots more space to search for water.
-- Plant cool-season crops or crops that prefer a good watering in sunken beds that gather water. This will also create a cooler microclimate.
-- Mulching with flat stones will also help keep the ground cooler and wetter while absorbing heat to be released at night thereby moderating the microclimate.
-- Plant your veggie patch in a place sheltered from prevailing winds. You can also contour your beds to direct water flow and to prevent it from escaping.
-- Deeper, infrequent watering will help edibles to develop deeper root systems that will further help them tolerate drought. Consider a rain barrel to collect extra water for irrigation in dry times. You can also recycle your gray water.
-- Allow plants that root on the stems like squash and tomatoes to sprawl on the ground, further increasing their ability to mine water.
-- Gardening in the shade of trees or large shrubs is an excellent way to save water.
CCWD has put together a nice guide that will help you