Larry Dozier was an engineer who worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation before being recruited by General Manager Tom Clark to join Central Arizona Project in 1985. He was CAP’s Deputy General Manager before retiring in 2011.
Larry Dozier: A big picture man
(The story below is built around a recorded interview)
When Illinois farm boy, Larry Dozier, graduated from college, he had an engineering degree and plans to work in the design and manufacture of farm equipment. But after touring several manufacturers, his plans changed.
“I realized that there is no way I could sit in a room and be a designer or engineer,” Dozier said. ”I didn’t have the interest or the personality to do that. It was too sedentary and too detailed for me.”
So he decided to head west and was interviewing for jobs when he ran into the Bureau of Reclamation, an organization that was new to him. He quickly discovered that the Bureau did water projects, dams, irrigation and hydroelectric, which matched well with his knowledge of irrigation and drainage. He accepted a job with the Bureau of Reclamation in Grey Falls, Montana in February 1969 and has been in the West…and in the water business…ever since.
He spent the next several years working throughout the West, doing a lot of field engineering associated with operating projects and irrigation districts. And although he didn’t know it, he was already starting to overlap with CAP. In fact, in 1982, he was asked to develop a plan for early turnover of the system and present it to the CAWCD Board of Directors and by July 1, 1983, a contract was in place.
When CAP’s first General Manager, Tom Clark, was looking for an operations chief, he turned to Dozier.
“I thought this job down here getting the project started would be great,” said Dozier. “I knew the contracts. I knew the water allocation. I knew the O&M plan.”
So Dozier joined CAP in the summer of 1985, less than a month after the first water delivery to Harquahala Valley Irrigation District. He spent the next 26 years there in various leadership capacities, serving under three different general managers, helping guide the organization through numerous issues, including the repayment lawsuit, Indian water rights settlements, development of recharge and more. He retired as Deputy General Manager in 2011.