I've played this three times, and the last time, just the other day, I tried it with KT's new official rules. However, it's still not a game where we find we're sharing each other's oases. Do other players find this?
Part of the issue is the cost of "zipping" through the desert. Water cubes are precious, and spending two in order to jump on someone else's claim doesn't seem worth it.
I've questioned if one way to help this is to add an Entdecker spin to it: if ever there's a time when the only tile that may be fit into an area is a desert piece, then "put in" a desert piece. Now, for Entdecker that's easier because they give you extra pieces. You'd have to "just know" they were there.