Water (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): One of the memorable lines from John Huston's 1948 film ''The Treasure of Sierra Madre'' is spoken in the desert country. When two neophyte prospectors slosh water from their canteens over a rock to see if it has a yellow shine, the veteran who is guiding them says, ''Careful how you waste water, sometimes it can be more precious than gold.''

That same point lies behind this documentary special about water, wealth, and why the planet's water supply is more precious than gold.

Hosted by James Earl Jones, whose impressive voice seems to come from the bottom of a well, the show details the way fresh water has been viewed for many years as an inexhaustible resource, and how that view has shaped its use and availability around the world.

Correspondents from the United States, Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand file reports on the sorry state resulting from the thoughtless allocation of water. They look at the political and financial deals that have shaped water supplies in California, Australia's Great Artesian Basin in southwest Queensland, and New Zealand. The program adds credible evidence to the view that we are entering a global water crisis.

ABC In Concert (ABC, 12:06-12:36 a.m.): A 15-year-old and a group that is, well, let's say ''highly experienced'' are among the attractions in this edition of the performance series. Brandy, a young singer and actress, offers ''Baby'' -- a song she has put at or near the top of the R&B charts -- in a concert taped for the show.

The Whispers, who helped make traditional R&B popular some 30 years ago, are seen in concert with selections from their newest release, ''Toast to the Ladies.'' Chante Moore sings a selection called ''This Time'' from her new album, ''A Love Supreme,'' and soul singer Jesse sings numbers from his debut album ''Never Let Your Fire Go Out.''

TV soap star Vanessa Marcil is host.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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