An Idea to estimate flexible criteria for river water use permits was proposed that takes the spatio-temporal flow variation along the river into account, which was applied to the Keumho River, one of the tributary of the Nakdong River in Korea. This idea implies the temporal division of four periods with different criteria, combining flood/non-flood seasons and irrigation/non-irrigation periods, while a single one has been applied throughout the year in the current practice. Through flow regime analysis of daily natural flow simulations at Dongchon and Seongseo, the control points of the study area, Q355 and 1Q10 for non-flood and non-irrigation period, Q275 for non-flood and irrigation period, Q185 for flood and irrigation period were suggested respectively. So, those values that subtract instream flow were determined as the flexible criteria in each season. From the comparison of current practice and the proposed method, it was estimated that 10.6 million m3/year is available for more water use permits without additional development of water storage. Therefore, it is conceived that flexible criteria for river water use permission suggested in this study can contribute to improve the national policies for more efficient water resources management in the future.