When night falls, we find peace in the knowledge that daytime will return soon, and vice versa. But what if the world was split: daytime and night are two different, coexistent worlds, each with it's own laws and rules. At dawn and sunset, our soul switches to inhabit our other being, our 'twin'.
The desert is a curse from the Water God upon the wicked people who live in the South.
Said people offended the Water God in some way, and so the Water God placed water-trappers, bizarre, water-sucking beings, in the soil, and within years, the wilderness became a desert.
Thus, the desert folk shamans have special powers that allow them to find water-trappers so that they can be dug up and their water harvested.