My post below illuminates the most common form of drought mismanagement. In my observation, when a drought is pending, the newly appointed* drought manager thinks: where can I find water? This distracts them for the remainder of the drought, because in a drought there is very little water to be found.
Instead, the first thing the newly appointed drought manager should do is divide drought problems into two kinds: there is the kind that requires water and the kind that can be fixed with money. You can tell the difference by the following test: if I dropped a million dollars in cash on the problem, would it go away? Problem: salmon are cooking in the too-warm Sacramento River. If I dropped a million dollars into the river, that would not solve the problem. That drought problem requires the unique properties of water. We should reserve the scarce resource with unique properties for this type of problem. Problem: farmworkers are suffering from lack of farm jobs. If I dropped a million dollars into their town, the problem of suffering would go away for a while, possibly for as long as the drought. That drought problem can be addressed by something less unique and valuable than water; in a drought, we should use the more common resource to fix it.
*They are always newly appointed.