The protagonist of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 lyrical ballad The Rime of the Ancient Mariner proclaims “Water water everywhere / nor any drop to drink” as his ship drifts through Antarctic seas with no land (or freshwater) in sight and the crew slowly dying of thirst.

An allegory for our modern age if there ever was one, we’re all in the same boat today given the fact that seawater covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface while freshwater becomes scarcer in the face of overpopulation and global warming.

Indeed, upwards of 700 million people around the world lack access to clean water while drought conditions become the norm not the exception in many arid regions.