Strategies promoting efficient water use and conserving irrigation water are needed to attain water security to meet growing food demands. This meta-analysis study evaluated the effect of deficit irrigation (DI) strategy on eight vegetables to provide a quantitative estimate of yield and water productivity (WP) responses under variable soil textures, climates, and production systems (open-field and greenhouse). This study analyzed 425 yield and 388 WP comparisons of different DI levels to full irrigation (FI), extracted from 185 published studies representing 30 countries. Moving from the highest (> 80%FI) to the lowest (< 35%FI) irrigation level, the overall yield decline was 6.9 to 51.1% compared to FI, respectively. The WP gains ranged from 8.1 to 30.1%, with 35–50%FI recording the highest benefits. Soil texture affected the yield significantly only under the least irrigation class (< 35%FI), wherein sandy clay and loam recorded the highest (82.1%) and the lowest (26.9%) yield decline, respectively. Among the climates, temperate climate was overall the most advantageous with the least yield penalty (21.9%) and the highest WP gain (21.78%) across various DI levels. The DI application under the greenhouse caused lesser yield reduction compared to the open-field. The WP gains due to DI were also higher for greenhouse (18.4%) than open-field (13.6%). Consideration of yield penalties and the cost of saved irrigation water is crucial while devising the reduced irrigation amounts to the crops. The yield reductions under low to moderate water deficits (> 65%FI) accompanied by gains in WP may be justifiable in the light of anticipated water restriction.