The three gorges dam on the Yangtze river in Yichang, China, has reached a historic high of 175 metres on Tuesday 26th October at 9am, extending the navigable course of the reservoir by 150km and allowing authorities to generate 84.7 billion kwh of electricity per year.
A policy of raising water levels began in September 2010 to allow the dam to reach its full potential. It is thought that the higher level has cut shipping navigation costs by one third.
The Three Gorges Project was launched in 1993 with a budget equivalent to 22.5 billion U.S. dollars. It took 16 years to finish and 1.2 million local residents had to relocate.
The project consists of a dam, a five-tier ship lock, and 26 hydropower turbo-generators. Six more hydropower turbo-generators are planned by 2012.