ISBN 0240509579, p.376:

The aim of two-bath development is to limit the density range of the negative. It is an extreme form of compensating development and is carried out by first immersing the film in a solution containing the developing agent, preservative and restrainer then after careful and thorough draining of the solution from the film, immersing it in a solution containing the alkali. This technique allows full use to be made of the film speed while restricting contrast due to exhaustion of the developer in the more heavily exposed areas. It does find some application in recording scenes of high subject luminance range such as those encountered in architectural photography although low contrast developers are available. A similar technique known as water-bath development has also been used. This technique involves immersing the film alternately in developer and water according to a planned schedule. It was of greatest value when it was common practice to develop by inspection but it rarely used today.