Energy dissipation systems such as single fall-stilling basin and single chute bucket have been used in the design and construction of large dams. In the case of high head structures, however, due to the high flow velocity, these systems suffer from problems such as cavitation, vibration, and abrasion. As an alternative, a cascade system could be used, which is a cascade of falls and stilling basins below each fall. A procedure has been developed for optimum design of cascade stilling basins using dynamic programming as an optimization technique to minimize the excavation and concrete-work costs with given geometric parameters of the system. Based on this procedure, a computer model was developed and examined in the design of the Tehri Dam in India as a case study. Evaluation of the model results and comparing them with those obtained by a model not using an optimization tool shows 31% of improv6ement with regard to the minimization of concrete and excavation volumes and consequently construction costs.