The researchers identified 78 key water towers across North America, South America, Asia and even Europe.
Here in Europe, the loss of water towers will have a devastating impact on the Rhone in France, the Rhine in Germany, as well as the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the Caspian Sea Coast.
Dr Davies said: “It’s not somewhere we would think of that might be threatened by water shortages.
“But the Rhine and places like that rely on water for power and industry, so they will be sorely affected.”
The expert added: “The places are strongly needing these mountain regions that are important for providing water to France, Germany, Spain.”
But Dr Davies fears the biggest effect will be felt by communities in Asia that rely on the freshwater of the Indus river, which cuts across the Tibetan Plateau through India and Pakistan.