Wicking beds are the ultimate in water saving techniques for desert vegetable gardens. They're easy to build especially if you get a few friends on board to help. I'll be doing a variation on this when I put in my permanent garden as my mate and I permaculture our land. The one change I'd make is that I would sink the garden rather than use a raised bed technique as shown in this link. Sinking it will help keep temperatures more stable and will reduce wind damage. And, of course, it will be firmly inside a critter proof garden enclosure.
How to Make a Wicking Bed