Soak apricots in water to cover 5 minutes; drain and coarsely chop. Set aside.
Combine sugar, shortening, and egg in a large mixing bowl; beat well. Gradually add orange juice and water, beating until well blended.
Set aside 1/4 cup flour in a small mixing bowl. Sift together remaining flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; gradually add to orange juice mixture, beating well after each addition.
Dredge pecans and reserved apricots in reserved flour. Fold into batter. Spoon batter into a greased 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.