The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Mr Owen Paterson, opened the debate. The Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Maria Eagle MP, responded on behalf of the Opposition.
Summary of the Water Bill
To make provision about the water industry; about compensation for modification of licences to abstract water; about main river maps; about records of waterworks; for the regulation of the water environment; about the provision of flood insurance for household premises; about internal drainage boards; about Regional Flood and Coastal Committees; and for connected purposes.
Progress of the Bill
The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 27 June 2013.
Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation, including amendment papers, on the Water Bill and find out how a bill becomes an Act of Parliament.
House of Commons Library analysis
The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.
The Library has published a briefing paper for second reading.
What happens at second reading?
At second reading the House debates the whole principle of the bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.
The Member in charge or the Minister moves the motion 'that the bill be now read a second time'. MPs then debate the bill.
At the end of the debate the Speaker determines whether there are any objections to the motion being debated and asks for the Ayes and Noes.
Members voice their opinion, and if no objections are made, the bill passes second reading without a vote. If the Speaker believes Members have voiced disagreement, a division is called and a vote taken.
What happens after second reading?
If the motion at second reading is agreed to, the Bill will go to a Public Bill Committee for consideration.
Watching proceedings from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.
This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.