The proposed Floods and Water Bill will ensure a more coordinated response in future to the kind of flooding seen across parts of the West Midlands last year, environment minister Phil Woolas has said.
For the first time the Environment Agency would be given a strategic overview role in all forms of flooding.
Until now the agency has been responsible for river flooding and, since April 1 this year, coastal floods.
Under the agency's overview, local authorities would take responsibility for surface water in their own communities, Mr Woolas said.
If necessary councils will be given powers to ensure that organisations and landowners fulfil their obligations to tackle surface water flooding by actions such as maintaining drains.
Much of last summer's floods, which also hit the Yorkshire and Humber area and south-west England, were caused by excess surface water following the wettest May to July on record.
Mr Woolas said: "In the year since last summer's devastating floods, and in response to Sir Michael Pitt's interim report, we have been taking action to ensure the country is better prepared to deal with flooding.
"This new role for the Environment Agency will ensure a more coordinated response to future floods."
And he said: "Local authorities have a vital role to play and under the Agency's overview they will be supported to take the lead on the ground."
The draft Bill was announced in the draft legislative programme last month and will be put out to consultation next spring.