Coat a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl combine the water, uncooked rice, and sugar. Add apricots, butter, vanilla, and cardamom. Stir well to combine. Transfer to prepared slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 1/2 hours (do not stir). Turn off heat; stir in yogurt. Serve warm.
Just before serving, in a small saucepan heat cherry preserves until melted (or place in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 100-percent power (high) for 30 seconds).
Stir rice pudding before serving. Top each serving with 1 to 2 teaspoons cherry preserves. Use a knife to gently swirl into the preserves.