I happen to be out in arizona this week attending the Ag Gateway conference. I haven't noticed a lot of electric fences in the area, but also haven't seen much livestock yet.
Electric fence will work in the dry desert if you have enough deep ground rods so the charge can make it back to the energizer. I would say to increase the recommended number of ground rods your electric fence charger is supposed to have by 2 or 3 times... that is 3-9 six to eight foot ground rods.
Your electric fencer will work better if the ground is wetter of course so the current can flow back to the energizer. Gallagher does offer the super grounding kit, which is available at our web site.
please visit our website about electric fence grounding or earthing. we have plenty of information about the topic