The efficient use of water in the agricultural sector is an important issue not only for profitable production and high-quality crops but also for the protection of soil and water resources. Field experiments were conducted in Bursa city located in northwest of Turkey with sub-humid climate over clay-loam soils during three consecutive growing seasons (2012-2014). Irrigation treatments included 100% (FI) of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), 75% (DI1), 50% (DI2), and 25% (DI3) of ETc at 3-day intervals via drip irrigation during the growing season. Also, irrigation water was applied as 100% ETc from transplantation to the beginning of flowering (DI4), yield formation (DI5), fruit ripening (DI6), later 50% ETc. Analyses were conducted to determine the effects of different irrigation strategies on fruit yield and quality traits. The amount of irrigation water applied, actual evapotranspiration, net return, and water productivity indicators were calculated separately for each treatment. According to 3-year averages, relatively greater yields (66.47 and 65.18 t ha(-1)) were obtained from FI and DI6 treatments, respectively. The greatest net return per unit area was received as 4042 euro ha(-1) from FI treatment. The greatest net return per unit volume of irrigation water (1.00 euro m(-3)) and the greatest water productivity (13.73 kg m(-3)) were obtained from DI6 treatment. Irrigation regimes significantly affected fruit length and diameter, fruit soluble solids content, total sugar, titratable acidity, vitamin C, and protein content. Deficit irrigations improved melon quality traits. Considering the overall yield, quality, water productivity, and net returns, DI6 treatment was recommended for the drip irrigation of melon plants in the sub-humid region of Northwest Turkey.