In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil without stirring; boil for 5 minutes. Add cranberries, cook until berries pop and sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Cut apricots in the preserves into small pieces; add to cranberry mixture. Stir in lemon juice. Cool. Add almonds.
Spoon over cream cheese; serve with crackers. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Editor's Note: This sauce may also be served as an accompaniment to poultry or pork.