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After the spate of recurring flooding in several French regions, some local authorities have implemented information systems to aid their inhabitants. Direction Régionale de l’environnment, centre bassin bretagne

In order to inform and to reduce the risks for the riverside residents in areas that have experienced floods, the French Regional Direction of Environment of the Region Centre (DIREN) has deployed a telephone-based information system.  Since December 2004, citizens near the Loire river can call the system 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to get detailed information about current flooding risks, the level of the river and outflow and low-water-mark information.

This voice-driven service was developed in VoiceXML by Eloquant and uses text-to-speech technology to deliver dynamically changing information: when DIREN updates the information, the information system’s audio prompt data is updated automatically in real time, which saves time and avoids complexity for the DIREN operator. The service is hosted by Eloquant, a European VoiceXML specialist, on its multi-client infrastructure.

This information service may be enhanced in the future with “push” functionality using voice outcall and/or SMS alerts, again using VoiceXML technology, to warn the citizens proactively of urgent flood risk.

“Choosing a hosted VoiceXML solution enabled DIREN to reduce the time to deploy such a service while keeping costs low and providing the riverside residents of the Loire Valley an efficient and easy-to-use information service,” said Damien Leretaille, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Eloquant.