The Finance Ministry will return some NIS 80 million to 20 local authorities in a compromise agreement signed last week on excessive water fees paid by the authorities over a number of years, reports www.local.co.il. The biggest beneficiaries will be Herzliya, which will receive NIS 20 million, followed by Petah Tikva with NIS 15 million, Ramat Gan with NIS 13 million and Ra'anana with NIS 9 million. According to the report, the local authorities became aware some time ago that they had paid excessive amounts of water fees over a number of years, and filed a joint lawsuit to the Jerusalem District Court to have the funds returned. After some discussion, the case was turned over to arbitration. A compromise was hammered out in which the Finance Ministry will pay out a total of NIS 80 million to 20 local authorities. The report pointed out that Ramat Hasharon, which refused to join the lawsuit for unstated reasons, could have been awarded millions of shekels in the agreement, but now will gain nothing.