The North China Plain (NCP) is a major grain production area in China, but the current winter wheat-summer maize system has resulted in a large water deficit. This water-shortage necessitates the improvement of crop water productivity in the NCP. A crop water model, AquaCrop, was adopted to investigate yield and water productivity (WP) for rain-fed summer maize on the piedmont of the NCP. The data sets to calibrate and validate the model were obtained from a 3-year (2011–2013) field experiment conducted on the Yanshan piedmont of the NCP. The range of root mean square error (RMSE) between the simulated and measured biomass was 0.67–1.25 t·hm , and that of relative error (RE) was 9.4%–15.4%, the coefficient of determination ( ) ranged from 0.992 to 0.994. The RMSE between the simulated and measured soil water storage at depth of 0–100 cm ranged from 4.09 to 4.39 mm; and RE and in the range of 1.07%–1.20% and 0.880–0.997, respectively. The WP as measured by crop yield per unit evapotranspiration was 2.50–2.66 kg·m . The simulated impact of long-term climate (i.e., 1980–2010) and groundwater depth on crop yield and WP revealed that the higher yield and WP could be obtained in dry years in areas with capillary recharge from groundwater, and much lower values elsewhere. The simulation also suggested that supplementary irrigation in areas without capillary groundwater would not result in groundwater over-tapping since the precipitation can meet the water required by both maize and ecosystem, thus a beneficial outcome for both food and ecosystem security can be assured.